How do Federal employees show that they were retaliated against in violation of the ninth PPP?
To establish a prima facie case of retaliation under section 2302(b)(9), the employee must show that: he or she engaged in a statutorily-protected activity; he or she was subsequently treated adversely by the agency; the deciding official (the person authorized to make the final decision on a disciplinary action) had actual or constructive knowledge that the employee engaged in the protected activity; and a causal connection exists between the protected activity and the personnel action. Crump v. Department of Veterans Affairs,114 M.S.P.R. 224, ¶ 10 (2010). Prima facie means that a party produces evidence that – unless rebutted – is sufficient to prove a particular proposition or fact. Once a prima faciecase is established, the agency must demonstrate that the action would have been taken even in the absence of any protected activity. Gerlach v. Federal Trade Commission, 9 M.S.P.R. 268, 271, 274-75 (1981) (citing Mt. Healthy City School District Board of Education v. Doyle, 429 U.S. 274 (1977)).