Ask The Lawyer

By Debra Roth

Q & A Session – Threats

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Ask the Lawyer received the following question (paraphrased for easier reading and clarity) from a reader on a legal matter that might be of interest to the entire audience.

Q:

After getting to my third level manager, I recorded him saying that if I continued up the chain of command, I would pay dearly and that he would make it happen over and over. After being sent 50 pages of information and supporting documents, the Office of Special Counsel did not want to hear the tape and rejected my case. Is there another route?

A:

There is not enough information to answer your question. If you recorded your third level management surreptitiously, I understand why OSC did not want to hear the tape. Federal employees have been successfully fined for similar actions. You do not say what kind of prohibited personnel practice you were complaining about. Whistleblower and some other reprisals can be pursued further by a federal employee to the Merit Systems Protection Board. On other types of prohibited personnel practices, OSC does have the final word.

Bill Bransford is managing partner of Shaw Bransford & Roth PC.

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