January 8, 2021 | NAAE Case Study “Kowtowing to CBP”

Attention Bargaining Unit Members, as part of an ongoing series, NAAE is publishing case studies involving some of the progress made over the past few years. Stay tuned, there’s more to come…


NAAE’s legal counsel came to the rescue of a GS-9 PPQ Officer who faced termination from the Agency for failing to declare on his Customs form agricultural products he was bringing back to the U.S. on a return flight from northwest Africa. The Agency was reacting to a report from CBP complaining about the incident. His answers on the Customs form, as the employee had completed it, were arguably ambiguous; however, the products he carried were not prohibited. NAAE counsel, together with several NAAE national officers planning to testify on the employee’s behalf, convinced the Agency to withdraw its flawed removal decision in the middle of the employee’s appeal to the Merit Systems Protection Board challenging that “adverse action.” The Agency dropped the charges and agreed, as part of the settlement, to reinstate him with back pay and give him his career- ladder promotion, an upgrade to a GS11 position.