What a Difference a Decade Makes
FEDS just celebrated its 10-year anniversary defending federal employees. When the company was founded, the goal was to provide the very best legal representation and customer service in the industry – and we did that.
Federal employment, however, is not at all what it was just 10 years ago – at least from a liability perspective. Until recently, there were certain groups that had exposure – managers, law enforcement officers, attorneys – but even within these groups, the incidence of claims was determined primarily by the employing agency. Today, our impatient, social media driven, and lawsuit friendly society has increased the vulnerability for many rank and file Feds across the Federal Government.
We have quickly evolved into a need-for-speed society, and we expect and are expected to have answers immediately. This need for immediate response, action or resolve has resulted in harmful responses and unnecessary allegations and investigations of federal employees. News, in all forms, is big business. And when the media or politicians get a hold of what might turn into a big or multi-night story, more often than not, it will get reported in a way to increase ratings, subscribers or viewership. In some instances, irresponsible reporting or politicking is at the forefront of problems for today’s Feds. The tragedy here is that once a claim is made, whether the allegation is true or false, the consequences can be far reaching and life altering. While no one argues the necessity of public scrutiny and the media, the demand in the last decade for an immediate response or immediate investigation by the public, agency leaders or elected officials often results in real harm to individual employees.
Outside stakeholders are another area of concern. Federal employee problems caused by special interest groups and citizens has simply exploded over the last decade. These groups, while obviously different and only combined here for purposes of vulnerability to Feds, can wreak havoc on federal employees particularly those that work for the DHS, DOS, BOP, IRS, EPA, VA, etc. The harm from these groups can run the gamut from administrative investigations to personal capacity lawsuits in which you could be held personally liable. Unfortunately, for some federal employees, the type of work you do causes very passionate and/or angry reactions.
Our goal for the next 10 years is to ensure that all Feds truly understand their liability exposure and the protections available to them, and we need your help. If you work for an agency that has seen increased vulnerability for employees, for any reason, tell them to look into the protections provided by professional liability insurance. If you aren’t sure if you or your employees are more at risk, contact us. If you are aware of a vulnerability or liability exposure that we may not be, let us know so we can determine what changes, if necessary, we need to make. We all desperately need civil servants to be confident in their decisions and actions – civil servants need to be confident that we will protect them for acts, errors or omissions in the performance of their job duties. Contact us anytime at 866.955.FEDS or firstname.lastname@example.org.
FEDS provides professional liability insurance for the entire federal management community. For information on your specific exposures, how professional liability insurance protects you, or how the FEDS program differs from other insurance programs, visit us at fedsprotection.com.
Posted in Manager Matters