PAUL D. JONSON; NOREEN A. JONSON, Appellants,
FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION, Appellee.
FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF
MASSACHUSETTS Hon Rya W. Zobel, U.S. District Judge
Elizabeth S. Dillon and Brian D. Fishman, with whom Cetrulo
LLP was on brief, for appellants.
W. Guarisco, Counsel, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation,
with whom Colleen J. Boles, Assistant General Counsel, and
Kathryn R. Norcross, Senior Counsel, were on brief, for
Barron, Selya, and Stahl, Circuit Judges.
Paul D. Jonson ("Jonson") commenced two different
actions against the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
("FDIC"), challenging its decision to terminate his
employment. When the case reached the district court,
the court dismissed Jonson's complaint for lack of
subject matter jurisdiction. Jonson appeals the district
Jonson disputes the district court's conclusion that he
waived his associational disability discrimination claim.
Second, Jonson requests that the Court transfer the case to
the Federal Circuit. Finding that both of Jonson's
arguments on appeal lack merit, we affirm.
worked at the FDIC for more than 20 years. In 2010, Jonson
and his wife both filed for bankruptcy, they said, as a
result of expenditures they incurred in caring for their sick
daughter. In September 2011, both Jonson and his wife
received a bankruptcy discharge.
November 2011, Jonson applied for a special short-term
assignment through the FDIC with the United States Treasury.
As a part of the background check required for this position,
Jonson disclosed the fact of his bankruptcy. On January 29,
2013, the FDIC terminated Jonson's employment with the
agency because of his failure to meet the minimum standards
of fitness and integrity established and required by 12
U.S.C. § 1822(f)(4).
February 28, 2013, Jonson exercised his rights, pursuant to
the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978, 5 U.S.C. § 1101
et seq. ("CSRA"), by timely filing an
appeal of his termination with the Merit Systems Protection
Board ("MSPB"). Jonson alleged that (1) the basis
proffered by the agency for his removal, the minimum
standards of fitness and integrity, were invalid; (2) the
termination violated the anti-discrimination provision of the
Bankruptcy Code, 11 U.S.C. § 525(a); and (3) the
termination constituted associational disability
discrimination, in violation of the Rehabilitation Act, 29
U.S.C. §§ 791, 794.
14, 2013, the administrative law judge ("ALJ")
issued a ruling in Jonson's favor. The ALJ did not reach
the merits of Jonson's discrimination claims. Rather she
determined that the FDIC exceeded its authority in
promulgating the minimum standards regulations, the basis by
which the FDIC terminated Jonson, because it failed to obtain
the concurrence of the Office of Government Ethics
("OGE"). From that ruling, the FDIC took an
interlocutory appeal. The MSPB affirmed the ALJ's
reversal of Jonson's removal and remanded the case to the
ALJ to consider the merits of Jonson's discrimination
27, 2014, Jonson's counsel, by letter, withdrew
Jonson's discrimination claims with prejudice. The
purpose of the withdrawal was to enable Jonson to immediately
return to employment at the agency. Subsequently, the ALJ
issued an initial decision, ordering, as interim relief, that
the FDIC reinstate Jonson.
FDIC petitioned for review of the ALJ's initial decision
and the MSPB reversed its prior ruling, finding that the
minimum standards regulations had been properly
promulgated. The MSPB canceled the ALJ's order of
interim relief and remanded the matter to the ALJ and as part
of that ...