Under the Whistleblower Protection Act (WPA), all employees have the legal right to engage in “whistleblowing,” or the act of disclosing information that you reasonably believe shows evidence of any of the following:
- A violation of law, rule, or regulation
- Gross mismanagement
- Gross waste of funds
- An abuse of authority
- A substantial and specific danger to public health or safety
- Censorship related to scientific research if that censorship concerns any of the above
The WPA also grants you the right to appeal a personnel action taken against you in retaliation for whistleblowing. It is unlawful for agencies to take or threaten to take a personnel action against you simply because you disclosed wrongdoing. Examples of personnel actions in whistleblower retaliation cases include poor performance reviews, demotions, and termination of employment.
Filing a Whistleblower Retaliation Complaint
If you believe that your employer has retaliated against you for protected whistleblowing, you can file a formal complaint with the US Office of Special Counsel (OSC). The OSC is an independent agency whose job is to investigate and prosecute allegations of “prohibited personnel practices” (PPP) by federal employers.
When deciding on a whistleblower complaint, the OSC will look for evidence that the whistleblowing was a contributing factor in the adverse personnel action threatened or taken against you. They will also consider whether the agency can demonstrate “by clear and convincing evidence” that it would have taken the same action against you in the absence of your whistleblowing.
If the OSC’s investigations conclude that whistleblower retaliation occurred, they may order corrective or disciplinary action.
Several forms of relief you may receive include:
- Reinstatement to your former position
- Restoration to your role
- Reversal of suspensions and other adverse actions
- Lost wages and back pay
- Reasonable and foreseeable consequential damages, (e.g., medical costs, attorney’s fees, and compensatory damages)
In the case that the OSC does not satisfactorily resolve your case, you may proceed with an Individual Right of Action (IRA) appeal with the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB). However, you must first have filed a claim with the OSC before considering any other alternative option like an IRA appeal.
Take Legal Action with the Help of Pitre & Associates, LLC
If your employer has retaliated against you for whistleblowing, they have infringed upon your federal rights, and you can take legal action against them. Pitre & Associates, LLC supports federal employees throughout Washington, D.C., and all across the country, protecting them from unlawful removal and suspension simply for exercising their civil rights.
Let the reputable and experienced attorneys at the firm help you file a whistleblower retaliation complaint with the OSC and protect your rights under the WPA.
Schedule a free consultation with Pitre & Associates, LLC today to get started immediately. Let’s assert your whistleblowing rights and protect your future.