Retaliation by Duty Removal- Answer with Telecommuting
On behalf of Morris E. Fischer, LLC posted in Retaliation and Whistle Blowing on July 29, 2014
One of the federal agency methods of retaliation is for an Agency supervisor or manager removing duties from the employee who complained about discrimination, fraud, abuse or waste against a supervisor, manager or the Federal Agency in general. This is rampant at the VA, IRS right now due to the scandals these agencies face, however our office has represented federal employees at a wide range of Federal Agencies where this technique is employed.
The federal employee goes to work every day in an office barely bigger than a closet, with no windows. He or she also is given very few assignments and the employee is forced to match some new job description such as, “keeping current with the latest developments in nuclear energy.” After months of this kind of prison like existence, the employee eventually quits because the job stress of that kind of dehumanizing environment causes heart or other physical symptoms of depression.
Now mind you, the Agency is careful not to do anything to the employee that would be classified as a “tangible” or “adverse” employment action. Meaning, the current state of the law for one to have a claim is that the action taken must have a financial loss to the employee, such as a loss of pay, or supervisory duty. The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia has held that even if the change of assignment results in future negative effects on the employee’s career track, that by itself doesn’t meet the standard; therefore the table is set for the Federal Agency to legally get back at whistle blowers.
What’s the answer? Simple, fight fire with fire: telecommute. If you’re going to give me nothing to do, let me work from home. Now obtaining telecommuting is not as simple as it looks, but we’ve helped a number of Federal employees obtain telecommuting, at least several days per week. We can’t give away all of our secrets on our website, but invite any federal employee in this situation to contact our office. You may be able to lead the work life you deserve: one away from hostility, stress and anxiety.