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Search Tags: OSC
The Office of Special Counsel, the agency tasked with investigating federal-agency whistleblower claims and protecting whistleblowers, themselves, from retaliation has seen demand for its work skyrocket in the wake of recent legislative changes. Now, Carolyn Lerner, the head of the OSC, said she hopes the small agency's budget will keep pace.
Hundreds of thousands of federal employees are not entitled to a key civil-service protection under a recent ruling by the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington. Andres Grajales, deputy general counsel for the American Federation of Government Employees who represented two federal employees in the case, said the ruling gives agencies a weapon against employees.
Bill Bransford hosts a roundtable discussion of the upcoming Federal Dispute Resolution Conference.
July 12, 2013
Tags: workforce , Federal Dispute Resolution Conference , civil rights , EEO , dispute resolution , labor relations , MSPB , OPM , FLRA , Bill Bransford , Dan Gephart , Joseph Swerdzewski , Barbara Haga , Roslyn Brown , Shaw Bransford & Roth , Fed Talk
The Office of Special Counsel is "deeply concerned" about the implications of a federal court ruling that stripped low-level Defense Department employees of their ability to appeal suspensions and demotions outside the agency. OSC, which filed an amicus brief earlier this month with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, is worried the ruling could have a chilling effect on whistleblowers.
The Office of the Special Counsel wants to see the law governing the political activity of federal employees updated. Carolyn Lerner, head of the OSC, told Federal News Radio the law is outdated and has led to unintended consequences. The act was created in 1939 when "typewriters were about the most advanced means of communication," Lerner said.
A group of lawmakers has proposed an update to the law governing federal employees' political activity that would exempt some state and local employees and allow for a range of penalties other than automatic suspension for minor violations.
Not all claims of agency wrongdoing wind up with the agency IG's office. Some employees turn to the Office of Special Counsel, the independent investigative agency that acts under the authority of the Whistleblower Protection Act. OSC's relatively-low profile has grown since Carolyn Lerner, the head of the office, joined the agency about nine months ago.
Federal employees increasingly perceive less agency wrongdoing but that doesn't necessarily mean the threat of retaliation for reporting such misconduct has similarly decreased, according to a new Merit System Protection Board report.
The Office of Special Counsel found the HHS Secretary's remarks in February at a gala violated the law prohibiting federal employees from engaging in partisan actions. Kathleen Sebelius contends she didn't break the law.
The head of the Federal Aviation Administration says an independent federal agency is investigating allegations that FAA managers in Seattle urged employees to vote Democratic in the upcoming election.FAA acting Administrator Michael Huerta says no one from his agency or elsewhere in the Obama administration gave such directions about how to vote.