Reprisal (for Whistleblowing)

Melville Johnson
October 29, 2020
This charge is usually brought against a supervisor or a manager at a federal agency for taking retaliatory actions against an employee because the employee previously made a protected disclosure. Such a charge can be brought on individually, by the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) or by a Federal Agency.

This charge is usually brought against a supervisor or a manager at a federal agency for taking retaliatory actions against an employee because the employee previously made a protected disclosure. Such a charge can be brought on individually, by the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) or by a Federal Agency.

 For a Charge of Reprisal: (1) the acting official (the employee charged) had the authority to take, recommend, or approve any personnel action; (2) the aggrieved employee made a protected disclosure; (3) the acting official used his authority to take, or refuse to take a personnel action against the allegedly aggrieved employee; and (4) the acting official took or failed to take a personnel action against the allegedly aggrieved employee because of the protected disclosure.[1]

 In regards to the second element, the disclosure must be of one that is protected under 5 U.S.C. 2302(b)(8), and relates to whistleblowing. Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 2302(b)(8), whistleblowing is defined as any disclosure of information by an employee that the employee reasonable believes evidences: (1) a violation of law, rule, or regulation; (2) gross mismanagement; (3) a gross waste of funds; (4) an abuse of authority;  (5) a substantial and specific danger to public health and safety or (6) fraud.

 The attorneys at Melville Johnson, P.C. are highly experienced in OSC and MSPB matters such as these, and are willing and able to assist you in your federal employment legal matters.


[1] Eidmannv. MSPB,976 F.2d 1400 (Fed. Cir. 1992).

This blog and web site published by Melville Johnson, P.C. should not be used as a substitute for seeking competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney. Readers of this information should not act upon any information contained on this blog or website without seeking professional counsel.
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