If you try to look up the word “distrumption” in the dictionary, you won’t find it. That’s one of the interesting things about language. It can change with the times, and right now, we think it might be argued that distrumption seems to express what is being felt throughout the federal government and its workforce. That is not a statement about the rightness or wrongness of what’s happening – merely an observation of current conditions.
The array of news headlines related to this is testimony to the upheaval. Just within the Veterans Administration, there is the case of the former director of the Washington, D.C., VA Medical Center who is fighting agency findings that he “failed to provide effective leadership.” At the same time, there is the case of a respected pain management doctor at a VA center in Missouri who says he’s the victim of whistleblower retaliation after flagging bad opioid therapy management policies.
Workers are likely aware that federal employees and government contract workers have broad protections and rights under a variety of laws. In many cases, workers may also enjoy protective benefits resulting from collective bargaining contracts. Laws can be changed, however, as Congress showed earlier this year with the passage of the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act. And differing interpretations of contracts can trigger significant job-threatening disputes.
As the landscape is ever changing, workers concerned about protecting their careers and their livelihoods are bound to face uncertainty when trying to determine how to protect themselves. This is where seeking the help of experienced legal counsel can help and we invite you to contact us to learn more.