“Serving those who serve in government”

  1. Home
  2.  → 
  3. Whistleblower Protection
  4.  → What happens when a superior officer misbehaves?

What happens when a superior officer misbehaves?

On Behalf of | May 6, 2024 | Whistleblower Protection

Holding a position in the federal government requires a certain level of trust. Civilians trust that federal employees are making the most of their tax dollars, and co-workers trust that their peers are doing their best to serve the government.

Sometimes, that trust is broken. Things at work can get uncomfortable when a superior officer is the one to break that trust. If a superior officer fails to abide by the rules of the job and that failure rises to the level of fraud, mismanagement, or another reportable offense, a brave employee may choose to take the appropriate steps to report that failure.

How common are these types of cases?

Such situations are not uncommon. In a recent example, a whistleblower has reported the United States Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) chief medical officer of various violations, including:

  • Consuming alcohol while possessing an agency-issued firearm,
  • Using sexually explicit and lewd language,
  • Yelling and cursing at staff,
  • Taking unnecessary trips reimbursed by the government, and
  • Violating rules to hire contractors.

In addition the aforementioned violations, the accused also uncovered the whistleblower’s identity and has targeted the employee with disparate treatment. This has led to those in support of the whistleblower’s actions to call for the superior to be held accountable for illegal retaliation in addition to the violations noted above.

Why move forward with a whistleblower claim?

Moving forward with a report of a violation is difficult enough. Add in the complications of reporting a superior and the possibility of retaliation, as shown in this example, and it is no surprise that a federal employee may have a moment of self-reflection before choosing to proceed with the process.

However, those who can support these claims are not only working to better ensure the government and related agencies operate as they should, they are also holding the wrongdoing accountable for the violation and may have access to legal remedies that could include compensation and reinstatement.

How do these claims work?

Due to the potential for sensitive information, proper protocol must be followed when a federal employee reports wrongdoing. Federal employees can generally begin by reaching out to a supervisor or the agency’s Inspector General.

Federal law protects whistleblowers from retaliation. Those who believe they are the victim of illegal retaliation after filing the report may be able to pursue a whistleblower claim. An attorney experienced in this niche area of the law can review your situation and discuss your options.


RSS Feed