New Survey Claims Increase in Threats Against Federal Employees

In a new flash poll conducted by the Government Business Council, “as many as one in three federal employees say they recently have been threatened or harassed as a result of performing a job, or know a colleague” who has experienced the same.

According to the poll, “13 percent of federal employees have personally received threats or harassment as part of their work at a federal agency within the last six months,” while “an additional 20 percent of respondents said they know a colleague who has been either threatened or harassed.”

The poll could be emblematic of a broader trend, with more than half of those surveyed reporting “that their agency leadership had issued some form of guidance on work-related threats.”

GovExec and NPR have both highlighted a contentious Twitter exchange between President Donald Trump and Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) as one example of political division on social media spilling into the real world, with both sides accusing the other of inciting violence. The feud has led to the cancellation of multiple public events following knowledge of “a serious death threat.”

According to Government Executive, “More than one-third of federal employees—37 percent—said they believe they are now more likely to receive threats related to their work than they were six months ago, while 38 percent said they weren't sure. Twenty-four percent of respondents said threats are less likely.”

Also worth noting, however, is the survey’s small sample size -- the Government Business Council poll surveyed only 212 federal employees – and high margin of error of plus or minus 6.7 percent.

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