justice scales on a table

OSC makes historic number of favorable decisions in workforce complaints

The Office of Special Counsel issued its highest number in its 40-year history of decisions in favor of federal employees who made workforce complaints, Government Executive reports.

The OSC, which is tasked with protecting federal employees from whistleblower retaliation and other actions prohibited by civil service laws, released its annual report this week showing that by the end of fiscal 2017, there were 323 decisions made in favor of the employee, up 16 percent from 2016, the article notes, adding that about 75 percent of those cases were whistleblower retaliation complaints.

Longtime observers say that the higher rate of positive outcomes is a total reversal from OSC’s earlier days when bringing a complaint to the OSC would virtually end an employee’s career, according to the article, which also noted that the total number of cases received in 2017 dropped from 2016.

Reader comments

Mon, Jun 18, 2018

Every employee has an opportunity to dispute their Eval with a narrative/facts of their own. If you don't do that, your not advocating for yourself. Hiring mangers LOOK at this type of stuff to see if you take initiative when faced with a challenge. If you're being treated this poorly, PLEASE, find another job with an Agency that is known to be fair and supportive of their staff. They do exist, I've been with mine for 10 years and I wouldn't dream of moving to another agency, because mine is THAT good.

Sat, Jun 16, 2018

A big agency in Bethesda is full of management self-serving misfits who use the performance plans as a weapon and the employee has no say what so ever.

Sat, Jun 16, 2018

The performance appraisal system is bogus, corrupt and self-services the management minion that writes it up for the evaluated employee. The employee has no input and when the manager is spineless and motivated to write a marginal performance standard based on boiler plated generic descriptions of duties and then writes goals such as learning some sort of media tool or other software that has no impact on what an individuals does or accomplishes only is used to make sure the employee is rated low because this shows they have the ultimate authority. One other thing is that the management minions often have lied in their resumes about managing individuals at past places of employment. The best thing that could happen is to RIFF demote or remove most management from their positions and let the rank and file employees do their work for the people of this country.

Fri, Jun 15, 2018

I am so glad to hear this. This is SPECIFICALLY why I do not like the new performance appraisals for the Navy. They are based on "somewhat" on pay for performance. Also, I am REQUIRED to perform collateral duties AND my regular job. There are days that my collateral duties overtake the regular job and my Supervisor has suggested that I take the work home. Of course, when this went to higher management, I was accused of lying and Management believed her and I'm a "high ranking" GS worker..... I STRONGLY believe that performance appraisals should reflect employees input.

Thu, Jun 14, 2018 Florida

This comes unfortunately too late since I worked for a federal angency whose Director looked the other way about violations concerning nepotism and cronyism. I complained about it and was retaliated against and sent packing. I had no rights because I was a re-employed annuitant that worked at the will of the hiring authority. This person is vindictive, retaliatory and is still the director of the agency. This is wrong.

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Edward A. Zurndorfer Certified Financial Planner
Mike Causey Columnist
Tom Fox VP for Leadership and Innovation, Partnership for Public Service
Mathew B. Tully Legal Analyst

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