5 U.S.C. § 7702 : US Code - Section 7702: Actions involving discrimination

      (a)(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, and except as
    provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, in the case of any
    employee or applicant for employment who - 
        (A) has been affected by an action which the employee or
      applicant may appeal to the Merit Systems Protection Board, and
        (B) alleges that a basis for the action was discrimination
      prohibited by - 
          (i) section 717 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C.
        2000e-16),
          (ii) section 6(d) of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29
        U.S.C. 206(d)),
          (iii) section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29
        U.S.C. 791),
          (iv) sections 12 and 15 of the Age Discrimination in
        Employment Act of 1967 (29 U.S.C. 631, 633a), or
          (v) any rule, regulation, or policy directive prescribed
        under any provision of law described in clauses (i) through
        (iv) of this subparagraph,

    the Board shall, within 120 days of the filing of the appeal,
    decide both the issue of discrimination and the appealable action
    in accordance with the Board's appellate procedures under section
    7701 of this title and this section.
      (2) In any matter before an agency which involves - 
        (A) any action described in paragraph (1)(A) of this
      subsection; and
        (B) any issue of discrimination prohibited under any provision
      of law described in paragraph (1)(B) of this subsection;

    the agency shall resolve such matter within 120 days. The decision
    of the agency in any such matter shall be a judicially reviewable
    action unless the employee appeals the matter to the Board under
    paragraph (1) of this subsection.
      (3) Any decision of the Board under paragraph (1) of this
    subsection shall be a judicially reviewable action as of - 
        (A) the date of issuance of the decision if the employee or
      applicant does not file a petition with the Equal Employment
      Opportunity Commission under subsection (b)(1) of this section,
      or
        (B) the date the Commission determines not to consider the
      decision under subsection (b)(2) of this section.

      (b)(1) An employee or applicant may, within 30 days after notice
    of the decision of the Board under subsection (a)(1) of this
    section, petition the Commission to consider the decision.
      (2) The Commission shall, within 30 days after the date of the
    petition, determine whether to consider the decision. A
    determination of the Commission not to consider the decision may
    not be used as evidence with respect to any issue of discrimination
    in any judicial proceeding concerning that issue.
      (3) If the Commission makes a determination to consider the
    decision, the Commission shall, within 60 days after the date of
    the determination, consider the entire record of the proceedings of
    the Board and, on the basis of the evidentiary record before the
    Board, as supplemented under paragraph (4) of this subsection,
    either - 
        (A) concur in the decision of the Board; or
        (B) issue in writing another decision which differs from the
      decision of the Board to the extent that the Commission finds
      that, as a matter of law - 
          (i) the decision of the Board constitutes an incorrect
        interpretation of any provision of any law, rule, regulation,
        or policy directive referred to in subsection (a)(1)(B) of this
        section, or
          (ii) the decision involving such provision is not supported
        by the evidence in the record as a whole.

      (4) In considering any decision of the Board under this
    subsection, the Commission may refer the case to the Board, or
    provide on its own, for the taking (within such period as permits
    the Commission to make a decision within the 60-day period
    prescribed under this subsection) of additional evidence to the
    extent it considers necessary to supplement the record.
      (5)(A) If the Commission concurs pursuant to paragraph (3)(A) of
    this subsection in the decision of the Board, the decision of the
    Board shall be a judicially reviewable action.
      (B) If the Commission issues any decision under paragraph (3)(B)
    of this subsection, the Commission shall immediately refer the
    matter to the Board.
      (c) Within 30 days after receipt by the Board of the decision of
    the Commission under subsection (b)(5)(B) of this section, the
    Board shall consider the decision and - 
        (1) concur and adopt in whole the decision of the Commission;
      or
        (2) to the extent that the Board finds that, as a matter of
      law, (A) the Commission decision constitutes an incorrect
      interpretation of any provision of any civil service law, rule,
      regulation or policy directive, or (B) the Commission decision
      involving such provision is not supported by the evidence in the
      record as a whole - 
          (i) reaffirm the initial decision of the Board; or
          (ii) reaffirm the initial decision of the Board with such
        revisions as it determines appropriate.

    If the Board takes the action provided under paragraph (1), the
    decision of the Board shall be a judicially reviewable action.
      (d)(1) If the Board takes any action under subsection (c)(2) of
    this section, the matter shall be immediately certified to a
    special panel described in paragraph (6) of this subsection. Upon
    certification, the Board shall, within 5 days (excluding Saturdays,
    Sundays, and holidays), transmit to the special panel the
    administrative record in the proceeding, including - 
        (A) the factual record compiled under this section,
        (B) the decisions issued by the Board and the Commission under
      this section, and
        (C) any transcript of oral arguments made, or legal briefs
      filed, before the Board or the Commission.

      (2)(A) The special panel shall, within 45 days after a matter has
    been certified to it, review the administrative record transmitted
    to it and, on the basis of the record, decide the issues in dispute
    and issue a final decision which shall be a judicially reviewable
    action.
      (B) The special panel shall give due deference to the respective
    expertise of the Board and Commission in making its decision.
      (3) The special panel shall refer its decision under paragraph
    (2) of this subsection to the Board and the Board shall order any
    agency to take any action appropriate to carry out the decision.
      (4) The special panel shall permit the employee or applicant who
    brought the complaint and the employing agency to appear before the
    panel to present oral arguments and to present written arguments
    with respect to the matter.
      (5) Upon application by the employee or applicant, the Commission
    may issue such interim relief as it determines appropriate to
    mitigate any exceptional hardship the employee or applicant might
    otherwise incur as a result of the certification of any matter
    under this subsection, except that the Commission may not stay, or
    order any agency to review on an interim basis, the action referred
    to in subsection (a)(1) of this section.
      (6)(A) Each time the Board takes any action under subsection
    (c)(2) of this section, a special panel shall be convened which
    shall consist of - 
        (i) an individual appointed by the President, by and with the
      advice and consent of the Senate, to serve for a term of 6 years
      as chairman of the special panel each time it is convened;
        (ii) one member of the Board designated by the Chairman of the
      Board each time a panel is convened; and
        (iii) one member of the Commission designated by the Chairman
      of the Commission each time a panel is convened.

    The chairman of the special panel may be removed by the President
    only for inefficiency, neglect of duty, or malfeasance in office.
      (B) The chairman is entitled to pay at a rate equal to the
    maximum annual rate of basic pay payable under the General Schedule
    for each day he is engaged in the performance of official business
    on the work of the special panel.
      (C) The Board and the Commission shall provide such
    administrative assistance to the special panel as may be necessary
    and, to the extent practicable, shall equally divide the costs of
    providing the administrative assistance.
      (e)(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, if at any time
    after - 
        (A) the 120th day following the filing of any matter described
      in subsection (a)(2) of this section with an agency, there is no
      judicially reviewable action under this section or an appeal
      under paragraph (2) of this subsection;
        (B) the 120th day following the filing of an appeal with the
      Board under subsection (a)(1) of this section, there is no
      judicially reviewable action (unless such action is not as the
      result of the filing of a petition by the employee under
      subsection (b)(1) of this section); or
        (C) the 180th day following the filing of a petition with the
      Equal Employment Opportunity Commission under subsection (b)(1)
      of this section, there is no final agency action under subsection
      (b), (c), or (d) of this section;

    an employee shall be entitled to file a civil action to the same
    extent and in the same manner as provided in section 717(c) of the
    Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000e-16(c)), section 15(c) of
    the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (29 U.S.C.
    633a(c)), or section 16(b) of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938
    (29 U.S.C. 216(b)).
      (2) If, at any time after the 120th day following the filing of
    any matter described in subsection (a)(2) of this section with an
    agency, there is no judicially reviewable action, the employee may
    appeal the matter to the Board under subsection (a)(1) of this
    section.
      (3) Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect the
    right to trial de novo under any provision of law described in
    subsection (a)(1) of this section after a judicially reviewable
    action, including the decision of an agency under subsection (a)(2)
    of this section.
      (f) In any case in which an employee is required to file any
    action, appeal, or petition under this section and the employee
    timely files the action, appeal, or petition with an agency other
    than the agency with which the action, appeal, or petition is to be
    filed, the employee shall be treated as having timely filed the
    action, appeal, or petition as of the date it is filed with the
    proper agency.