Filing a Complaint with the Appropriate Federal Agency
You must be careful when pursuing your retaliation complaint. Depending on the agency’s actions, you may be expected to initiate a complaint with the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) instead of the OSC.
If retaliatory acts taken against you consist of reassignments, brief suspensions, reprimands, or denial of promotions, you should take your case to the OSC. If you have faced demotion, wrongful termination, or suspensions exceeding 14 days in length, you can initiate a claim with the MSPB.
You should also be cautious when filing a grievance through a collective bargaining agreement. Doing so may prevent you from filing a future claim with the OSC or the MSPB. Our legal team can evaluate your situation and determine how to proceed.
Proving Whistleblower Retaliation
Whether you file a complaint with the OSC or the MSPB, you will need to demonstrate that your whistleblowing was a “contributing factor” in the unfavorable action taken against you. In other words, you must reasonably prove that any adverse actions taken against you were the result of your speaking up. Note that any means of intimidation, including threats of demotion or termination, can count as a retaliatory action.
Proving that your whistleblowing was a “contributing factor” to disciplinary or adverse actions can be challenging, especially if the defense can establish that they had sufficient reason to take unfavorable action against you outside your complaint. Our whistleblower retaliation attorneys who are located at our Tampa Bay Area offices will review every facet of your situation and determine how best to position you. We can help you build a compelling case that establishes a clear link between your whistleblowing and the acts of reprisal.
Securing Relief in a Whistleblower Retaliation Claim
It can be understandably frightening to speak out as a federal employee, especially if the misconduct you are reporting involves your boss or supervisor. Your reputation and career opportunities can be permanently threatened if you suffer retaliation as a result of your whistleblowing.
Filing a whistleblower retaliation complaint can help you reverse this damage. If the OSC or MSPB determines that you suffered from unlawful retaliation, any related disciplinary or adverse actions can be removed from your OPF. You may also be entitled to the restoration of your job and back pay if you were unjustly terminated.
The Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act (WPEA) works to extend further relief options to those who suffer retaliation. Depending on your situation, you may be entitled to compensatory damages for any pain or suffering as well as consequential damages and compensation for legal fees.
Our Tampa Bay Area whistleblower retaliation lawyers at Legal Lion Employment Law Firm can review your case and advise on what relief you may be available. We are committed to helping federal employees navigate these delicate scenarios and will do everything possible to secure a favorable outcome.