yellow whistles

Whistleblower Retaliation And How It Affects Who Comes Forward

As a federal employee, you want to do the best possible job each day and help your agency make a difference in the lives of others. While this is certainly the case most of the time, situations do arise when employees become aware of serious issues within an agency.

These can include violations of laws, rules, and regulations, gross mismanagement, gross waste of funds, abuses of authority, and/or substantial and specific safety violations. When matters such as these come to their attention, employees have a decision to make of whether or not to make their concerns known to others within their agency who have the authority to correct the matter or to government investigators.

Known as whistleblowers, these federal employees are noted for the courage it takes to go public with their concerns. Unfortunately, employers often do not see it this way, and may, in fact, choose to retaliate against whistleblowers in many ways.

What is Whistleblowing?

As stated earlier, whistleblowing is where a federal employee chooses to report various types of workplace legal violations. Provided federal protection under the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act and Civil Service Reform Act, these employees are legally allowed and, in fact, encouraged to come forward with their concerns without worrying about having their identities revealed or being retaliated against.

However, due to the allegations made in these complaints and the pressure it puts on those against whom the allegations are made, retaliation may become part of the process. Since this retaliation can take many forms, it is always best to be prepared for anything, especially concerning one's personal life. Thus, once you decide to move forward with a whistleblower complaint, align yourself with a skilled attorney at the Law Firm of John P. Mahoney, Esq., Attorneys at Law in Washington, DC. We represent federal government employees in employment law cases, including whistleblower retaliation cases, throughout the USA and around the world.

What Violations do Whistleblowers Report?

Under the Whistleblower Protection and Enhancement Act, a whistleblower is a federal employee who discloses to an official with the authority to correct the matter, including the wrongdoer, what they reasonably believe constitutes a violation of law, rule, regulation, gross mismanagement, a gross waste of funds, an abuse of authority and/or a substantial and specific safety violation.

Due to the severity of these allegations and the consequences that can follow should they be proven to be correct, it is crucial whistleblowers hire the services of the attorneys at the Law Firm of John P. Mahoney, Esq., Attorneys at Law, who are experienced and knowledgeable in these and other federal employment law matters. Therefore, since your federal career may come under attack due to your whistleblowing, hire the attorneys at the Law Firm of John P. Mahoney, Esq., Attorneys at Law, to protect legal rights in these matters.

Examples of Whistleblower Retaliation

Once you come forward with your whistleblower disclosure, be prepared for various types of retaliation. If an agency official with knowledge of your whistleblower disclosures takes or fails to take or threatens to take or fail to take a personnel action against you within a relatively short timeframe after learning of your whistleblower disclosures, they have engaged in unlawful whistleblower retaliation against you. Though retaliation is prohibited under federal law, this often does not deter those who believe they are being wronged by an employee. Thus, they will put enormous pressure on those involved to drop complaints and will also do everything possible to destroy the whistleblower's credibility and career.

As for unlawful retaliation that can occur in the workplace, the most common examples prohibited personnel practices include:

  • an appointment;
  • a promotion;
  • an action under chapter 75 of this title or other disciplinary or corrective action;
  • a detail, transfer, or reassignment;
  • a reinstatement;
  • a restoration;
  • a reemployment;
  • a performance evaluation under chapter 43 of this title or under title 38;
  • a decision concerning pay, benefits, or awards, or concerning education or training if the education or training may reasonably be expected to lead to an appointment, promotion, performance evaluation, or other action described in this subparagraph;
  • a decision to order psychiatric testing or examination;
  • the implementation or enforcement of any nondisclosure policy, form, or agreement; and
  • any other significant change in duties, responsibilities, or working conditions.

Whatever the case may be, it is vital you not let these acts of retaliation deter you from doing what is right, as well as protecting your legal rights along the way. Thus, hire the attorneys at the Law Firm of John P. Mahoney, Esq., Attorneys at Law, who are experienced in how to handle acts of retaliation against their clients.

Fighting Back Against Whistleblower Retaliation

While it may feel overwhelming to be under attack by an employer once you go forward with your whistleblower complaint, it is important to do everything possible to fight back from a legal standpoint. Since you have numerous rights under specific whistleblower legislation as well as protection of your civil rights under the Civil Rights Acts, the Civil Service Reform Act, and the United States Constitution, never sit back and let yourself think you made the wrong decision.

Instead, work with an attorney at the Law Firm of John P. Mahoney, Esq., Attorneys at Law, who understands how these legal situations develop and work their way through the system, and who is also unafraid to use every resource possible to protect you against unlawful retaliation. By having a skilled attorney on your side who can advise you each step of the way, it becomes possible to navigate the complex legal process while keeping your personal and professional lives intact. We can represent you to file a whistleblower retaliation complaint with your agency’s Office of Inspector General, the Office of Special Counsel (OSC), and the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB).

Though they realize the risks they are taking by coming forward with their concerns, whistleblowers are vital to ensuring corruption and abuses of power are exposed and dealt with in a proper manner. Therefore, never give up when pursuing your whistleblower complaint.

If you are in need of an attorney or have additional questions about whistleblowing, call the Law Firm of John P. Mahoney, Esq., Attorneys at Law, at (202) 759-7780 for a consultation.