It is impossible to fire a Federal employee.
Reality: From FY 2000-2014, over 77,000 full-time, permanent, Federal employees were discharged as a result of performance and/or conduct issues.
Agency leaders have no authority to serve as proposing or deciding officials in title 5 adverse actions.
Reality: Title 5 empowers the agency to take an adverse action. If agency leadership chooses to delegate the proposal or decision authority to lower levels, then it cannot interfere with the decision-making process of those delegees. But, prior to the assigned decision-maker’s involvement in a particular case, current statutes permit delegations to be abandoned or modified at will by the agency.
There are no legal barriers to firing an employee in the private sector.
Reality: Many of the laws that apply to removing employees in the Federal civil service also apply to private sector employment or have a similar counterpart, such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII – Equal Employment Opportunity), and the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA), both of which permit private sector employees to pursue litigation.
An agency must pay a salary to an employee who has been removed until any appeal has been resolved.
Reality: An employee is not paid while appealing his/her removal to MSPB. If the action is found to have been unwarranted, then reinstatement and back pay may be awarded. But, there is no pay while removed.
Reprinted from Issues of Merit, a publication of the Office of Policy and Evaluation, U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board.
 Analysis of data from U.S. Office of Personnel Management, Central Personnel Data File (CPDF), FY 2000-FY 2014.
 Goeke v. Department of Justice, 122 M.S.P.R. 69, ¶ 23 (2015); see Boddie v. Department of the Navy, 827 F.2d 1578, 1580 (Fed. Cir. 1987); Ward v. U.S. Postal Service, 634 F.3d 1274, 1279 (2011); 5 U.S.C. § 7513.
 See 38 U.S.C. §§ 4301-4333 (USERRA); Civil Rights Act of 1964, Pub. L. No. 88-352, 78 Stat. 241, § 706(e)-(g) (authorizing discrimination litigation in Federal courts).
 See 5 U.S.C. § 5596 (b)(1)(A).