A federal agency tasked with protecting whistleblowers was caught punishing one of its own employees for whistleblowing, an act of total hypocrisy.
The Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) unfairly punished an employee for whistleblowing on the agency’s board. Timothy Korb, an MSPB attorney, indicated that the agency had a backlog of cases that it failed to quickly clear. In response, the agency suspended Korb for 21 days without pay.
In a stroke of irony, Korb appealed the discipline to the very agency that punished him. To avoid a conflict of interest, a U.S. Coast Guard judge was brought in to hear the case.
“The Agency was required to prove by clear and convincing evidence that it would have taken the same personnel action in the absence of any protected activity or disclosure,” said Administrative Law Judge George Jordan. “It has not done so.”
Jordan ruled that the MSPB acted “harsh[ly]” and that the punishment was “retaliatory” in nature. An employer attempted to bully a worker, and justice prevailed.
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