113 F.3d 1258 (Fed. Cir. 1997), 97-3167, Gordon v. U.S. Postal Service

Docket Nº:97-3167.
Citation:113 F.3d 1258
Party Name:Scott A. GORDON, Petitioner, v. UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE, Respondent.
Case Date:May 15, 1997
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

Page 1258

113 F.3d 1258 (Fed. Cir. 1997)

Scott A. GORDON, Petitioner,



No. 97-3167.

United States Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit

May 15, 1997

Editorial Note:

This opinion appears in the Federal reporter in a table titled "Table of Decisions Without Reported Opinions". (See FI CTAF Rule 47.6 and FI CTAF App. V, IOP 9 regarding use of unpublished opinions)

Before MAYER, RADER, and SCHALL, Circuit Judges.

RADER, Circuit Judge.

Scott A. Gordon appeals the December 19, 1996, final decision of the Merit Systems Protection Board (the Board) affirming the Administrative Judge's (AJ) initial decision of July 10, 1996. In the initial decision, the AJ sustained the United States Postal Service's (USPS) decision to remove him from his position as a Electronic Technician for unacceptable conduct in direct violation of the USPS's zero-tolerance for violence policy. Because substantial evidence supports the AJ's factual findings, this court affirms.


On December 16, 1995, Gordon participated in an altercation with a co-worker, John O'Brien. Just prior to his evening shift, Gordon discovered mail left from the previous shift in an Automated Facer Canceler machine. Upon discovering this mail, Gordon expressed his disappointment. O'Brien, seated a few feet from Gordon, made a comment that may have contained a four-letter expletive to the effect that Gordon should just do his job. The statement upset Gordon. He approached O'Brien and grabbed him by the shirt collar. Co-workers intervened preventing the altercation from escalating. Neither O'Brien nor Gordon sustained any serious injury. Gordon was removed for the remainder of the evening.

The following morning, after consultations among various supervisors, Gordon returned to work. However, on December 18, 1995, the USPS placed Gordon on off-duty status. On January 16, 1996, the USPS informed Gordon of its proposed removal on charges of unacceptable conduct. The removal became effective February 21, 1996.


Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. § 7703(c) (1994), a decision of the Board must be affirmed unless it is found to be:

(1) arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with law;

(2) obtained without procedure required by law, rule, or regulation having been followed; or

(3) unsupported by substantial evidence.


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