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TSA issues: Add employee rights violations to the list

The Transportation Security Administration has taken some hits in the news in recent weeks. Travelers facing long lines at security checkpoints at U.S. airports have some choice words for TSA screening policies. The agency has also been the target of extra scrutiny in the wake of the deadly terror attacks in Belgium late last month.

What many here in Texas and the rest of the country may be less aware of is that there is a good deal of internal turmoil stemming from allegations of workplace retaliation against employees. The accusations include claims that many workers have suffered undue reassignments, demotions, investigations or were fired after reporting senior managers for apparent lapses or misconduct.

According to the records, workers filed 87 such complaints last year. The Office of Special Counsel notes that compares with 64 such reports made in 2014. Another way to gauge the level of apparent internal dysfunction is to compare that with what's happening at the Internal Revenue Service. Officials recorded only 26 complaints against IRS managers from that agency's nearly 90,000 employees. The TSA is estimated to have about 55,000 employees.

Some of those who have filed actions say the issue is that senior managers at TSA appear more concerned about protecting themselves and the agency than on fulfilling the mission for which the agency exists. Rather than fix problems, they find it easier to go after those who blow the whistle about them.

Any federal worker who reports wrongdoing within an agency has a right to be protected from retaliatory action. To be sure that those rights are fully protected, speak to an attorney. It doesn't cost to learn your options when the initial consultation is free.

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