A recent survey of employees at the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) revealed that almost a fifth are unhappy with the way the DHS has handled the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, we're exploring why federal employees may be dissatisfied with how the government has handled the pandemic thus far, as well as concerned about employee safety many employees have expressed.
At John P. Mahoney, Esq., Attorneys at Law, we help employees navigate work-related legal disputes. To schedule a consultation with our office, contact us online or via phone at (202) 759-7780.
What's the Story with DHS Employees?
Unlike many departments, DHS employees continued to report for work at workplaces. Around 30% of the 80,000 employees who work with the DHS reported that they worked full-time through the pandemic, and another 32% reported to their workplaces in person for at least half of their work hours.
As a result, some DHS employees may have felt that the department failed to take the threat of COVID-19 seriously or that workplaces failed to implement the proper safety protocols to prevent employees from contracting the virus while at work.
However, it's not all bad news for the DHS - around 70% of employees surveyed said they agreed that leaders "demonstrated a commitment to employee health and safety" during the pandemic.
Despite a majority of employees viewing their leaders favorably, DHS employees worried about the department's response to COVID-19 may have been justified in their concerns. Throughout 2020, more than 9,000 DHS employees contracted COVID-19.
Looking into 2021, DHS employees could see significant changes to their work. The Biden Administration recently released a proposed immigration bill to Congress that would make significant changes to funding for border communities and DHS employees working at ports of entry. Additionally, the Administration is calling on various federal employees to take shifts at the border to help with processing immigrants, which could alleviate some of the DHS's workload.
If you believe an employer has violated employment laws, we can help. To schedule a consultation with an experienced federal employment law firm, contact us online or via phone at (202) 759-7780.