(a) An employee or an employee's personal representative may request payment of reasonable attorney fees related to an unjustified or unwarranted personnel action that resulted in the withdrawal, reduction, or denial of all or part of the pay, allowances, and differentials otherwise due the employee. Such a request may be presented only to the appropriate authority that corrected or directed the correction of the unjustified or unwarranted personnel action. However, if the finding that provides the basis for a request for payment of reasonable attorney fees is made on appeal from a decision by an appropriate authority other than the employing agency, the employee or the employee's personal representative shall present the request to the appropriate authority from which the appeal was taken.
(b) The appropriate authority to which such a request is presented shall provide an opportunity for the employing agency to respond to a request for payment of reasonable attorney fees.
(c) Except as provided in paragraph (e) of this section, when an appropriate authority corrects or directs the correction of an unjustified or unwarranted personnel action that resulted in the withdrawal, reduction, or denial of all or part of the pay, allowances, and differentials otherwise due an employee, the payment of reasonable attorney fees shall be deemed to be warranted only if—
(1) Such payment is in the interest of justice, as determined by the appropriate authority in accordance with standards established by the Merit Systems Protection Board under section 7701(g) of title 5, United States Code; and
(2) There is a specific finding by the appropriate authority setting forth the reasons such payment is in the interest of justice.
(d) When an appropriate authority determines that such payment is warranted, it shall require payment of attorney fees in an amount determined to be reasonable by the appropriate authority. When an appropriate authority determines that such payment is not warranted, no such payment shall be required.
(e) When a determination by an appropriate authority that an employee has been affected by an unjustified or unwarranted personnel action that resulted in the withdrawal, reduction, or denial of all or part of the pay, allowances, and differentials otherwise due the employee is based on a finding of discrimination prohibited under section 2302(b)(1) of title 5, United States Code, the payment of attorney fees shall be in accordance with the standards prescribed under section 706(k) ofthe Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended (42 U.S.C. 2000e-5(k)).
(f) The payment of reasonable attorney fees shall be allowed only for the services of members of the Bar and for the services of law clerks, paralegals, or law students, when assisting members of the Bar. However, no payment may be allowed under section 5596 of title 5, United States Code, and this subpart for the services of any employee of the Federal Government, except as provided in section 205 of title 18, United States Code, relating to the activities of officers and employees in matters affecting the Government.
(g) A determination concerning whether the payment of reasonable attorney fees is in the interest of justice and concerning the amount of any such payment shall be subject to review or appeal only if provided for by statute or regulation.
(h) This section does not apply to any administrative proceeding that was pending on January 11, 1979.
[46 FR 58275, Dec. 1, 1981. Redesignated at 53 FR 18072, May 20, 1988, and 53 FR 45886, Nov. 15, 1988]
Title 5 published on 2014-01-01
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