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    How To a Blow Whistle and What To Do when Retaliated Against (a LinkedIn posting)

    Current and former federal employees and applicants for federal employment may report suspected
    prohibited personnel practices to the OSC. The matter will be investigated, and if there is sufficient
    evidence to prove a violation, the OSC can seek corrective action, disciplinary action, or both.   
    Alternatively, parties in selected cases may agree to mediate their dispute in order to reach a mutually
    agreeable resolution of the PPP complaint.

    Download OSC-11 form: whistleblower retaliation complaint form or other PPP complaint form.

    Corrective action. The OSC may enter into discussions with an agency at any stage of a pending matter
    in pursuit of a resolution acceptable to all parties. The OSC follows a policy of early and firm negotiation
    to obtain appropriate corrective action (and/or disciplinary action) for apparent violations.

    If an agency fails to remedy a prohibited personnel practice upon request by the OSC, corrective action
    may also be obtained through litigation before the MSPB. Such litigation begins with the filing of a
    petition by the OSC, alleging that there are reasonable grounds to believe that a prohibited personnel
    practice has occurred, exists, or is about to occur. Corrective actions that can be ordered by the MSPB
    include job restoration, reversal of suspensions and other adverse actions, reimbursement of attorney's
    fees, back pay, medical and other costs and damages.
    (from http://osc.gov/ppp.htm)

    As a general rule, it is a prohibited personnel practice to take or fail to take, or threaten to take or fail to
    take, a personnel action because of a protected disclosure of certain types of information by a Federal
    employee, former employee, or applicant for Federal employment. 5 U.S.C. § 2302(b)(8).

    By law, certain elements must be present before OSC can establish that a violation of law has occurred.
    Two of the required elements that must be established are: (1) that a whistleblower disclosure was
    made; and (2) that an agency took, failed to take, or threatened to take or fail to take a personnel action
    because of the whistleblower disclosure.

    A disclosure of information is a protected whistleblower disclosure if a Federal employee, former employee, or
    applicant for Federal employment discloses information which he or she reasonably believes evidences: (a) a
    violation of any law, rule, or regulation; (b) gross mismanagement; (c) a gross waste of funds; (d) abuse of
    authority; or (e) a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety.  

    The law prohibiting reprisal for whistleblowing requires proof that one or more of the following
    personnel actions occurred, or failed to occur, because of a legally protected disclosure:
    (1) an appointment;
    (2) a promotion;
    (3) an action under 5 U.S.C. chapter 75 or other disciplinary or corrective action;
    (4) a detail, transfer, or reassignment;
    (5) a reinstatement;
    (6) a restoration;
    (7) a reemployment;
    (8) a decision about pay, benefits, or awards, concerning education or training if the education or
    training may reasonably be expected to lead to an appointment, promotion, performance evaluation, or
    other action described in 5 U.S.C. § 2302(a)(2);
    (9) a performance evaluation under 5 U.S.C. chapter 43;
    (10) a decision to order psychiatric testing or examination; or
    (11) any other significant change in duties, responsibilities, or working conditions.

    Download OSC-11 form: whistleblower retaliation complaint form or other PPP complaint form.

    If OSC fails to complete its review of your whistleblower reprisal allegation within 120 days after it
    receives your complaint, or if it closes your complaint at any time without seeking corrective action on
    your behalf, you have the right to file an IRA appeal with the MSPB. 5 U.S.C. § 1214(a)(3).

    OSC receives, investigates, and prosecutes allegations of PPPs, with an emphasis on protecting federal government
    whistleblowers.  OSC seeks corrective action remedies (such as back pay and reinstatement), by negotiation or from
    the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB), for injuries suffered by whistleblowers and other complainants.  OSC is
    also authorized to file complaints at the MSPB to seek disciplinary action against individuals who commit PPPs.

    All statements contained in this page are subject to change and update.  EEO 21 does not take responsibility for any
    errors or misrepresentation contained therein.
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