Believe it or not, while this case might be designated as precedential, it’s actually not a precedent-setting position on the topic. The majority holding actually tracks old MSPB case law, and, we would offer, common sense. (And also, an old edition of Farnsworth.) Contracts are to be interpreted reasonably.

The dissent in Sánchez takes the position that the agency was committing itself to never reassigning the employee when it entered into a settlement agreement. That would be a significant limitation on an agency’s ability to use its workforce as needs demand, perhaps to the point of keeping open a clinic just for one guy who was assigned there via a 20-year old settlement agreement. If the parties intended something as serious as a promise to abide by the terms in perpetuity, then reason would say that they would have included that important provision in the settlement agreement. They did not. Therefore, nothing special to see here.

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