[Excerpt] Federal employees receive statutory protections that differ from those of the private sector, including more robust limits on when they can be removed or demoted. Although a number of laws apply to various aspects of the federal civil service system, the primary governing framework is the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 (CSRA), as amended. The CSRA created a comprehensive system for reviewing actions taken by most federal agencies against their employees, and the act provides a variety of legal protections and remedies for federal employees. It also funnels review of agency decisions to the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB), subject to review by the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (Federal Circuit).
In addition to these statutory protections, the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment requires the federal government to observe certain procedures when depriving individuals of life, liberty, or property. The CSRA’s requirement that covered employees may not be removed from federal service, except for cause or unacceptable performance, creates a constitutional property interest in continued employment. The government cannot deprive covered employees of this property interest without adhering to due process requirements.