The oath of office for federal employees makes two primary demands – to support and defend the Constitution of the United States and to faithfully discharge the duties of the office the employee is about to enter. Building on these principles, federal civil service law requires, among other things, that “all employees should maintain high standards of integrity, conduct, and concern for the public interest.”
Conflicts arise when political appointees and government managers require employees to take actions that may violate the oath or Merit System Principles. Employees have the right to disclose unlawful, wasteful, or abusive actions.
The Whistleblower Protection Act (WPA), as amended by the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act in 2012, prohibits government managers from taking or influencing a personnel action in reprisal for protected whistleblowing. Most federal employees are protected from reprisals for making disclosures that they reasonably believe evidence (1) any violation of law, rule, or regulation, (2) gross mismanagement, gross waste of funds, an abuse of authority, or substantial and specific danger to public health or safety; provided that the disclosure is not prohibited by law or the subject secrecy pursuant to Executive order. Disclosures to the Office of Special Counsel or to an Inspector General are likewise protected.
If you are a federal government employee who has been terminated or otherwise retaliated against for disclosing significant violations of law, gross mismanagement or waste of funds, or specific dangers to public health and safety, then the attorneys at Mehri & Skalet would like to talk to you. Moreover, if you are a government employee that has disclosed or would like to disclose significant fraud by government contractors resulting in substantial losses to the government we can help you. Contact us today.
Like the Federal Government, most states and the District of Columbia have whistleblower laws that provide protections for state employees when they disclose unlawful, wasteful, or corrupt actions. If you are a state government employee who has been terminated or otherwise retaliated against for whistleblowing, contact our attorneys today.