Whistleblower reprisal cases have increased six-fold in the last few years. Although some whistleblower reprisal cases are unsubstantiated, it can be easy to make targets of federal officials. More and more managers, supervisors and law enforcement officials are accused of and investigated for some allegation at some point in their careers. In what may become a super-charged environment, an agency lawyer may be assigned to assist you in an OSC or EEO investigation but this attorney represents the government’s interests, not yours as an individual employee, and the agency attorney may advance a position adverse to yours.
If you are directly accused of job-related wrongdoing, particularly in an OIG or internal affairs investigation into allegations of wrongdoing, you will be on your own to hire an attorney to defend yourself in the investigation and internal disciplinary processes. It can easily cost $10,000 to $25,000 to defend yourself in an OIG, OSC, EEO, congressional, or management investigation. To take your case to the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) if you are fired, demoted, or suspended for 15 days or more, expect to spend $30,000 to $100,000 if you do not have professional liability insurance.
Most managers obtain FEDS professional liability insurance because of the administrative defense coverage which entitles federal managers to up to $200,000 of defense counsel for any administrative investigation resulting from a professional service. FEDS Protection is endorsed by the leading federal executive and manager associations. You are eligible for reimbursement for up to half the cost of this insurance.
Is peace of mind worth $145 (after reimbursement) to you? It certainly will be if you are the next target.
The application process takes five minutes. Enroll online at www.fedsprotection.com or over the phone at 866-955-FEDS.
Posted in Manager Matters