Army

April 18, 2014

Whistleblower reprisal — what it is, isn’t

Sgt. 1st Class Monica O’Leary
Inspector General Office

Many people who observe or learn of wrongdoing are often afraid to report it because they fear that if the word got out, negative action would be taken against them.

In order for the office of the Inspector General, or IG, to provide assistance, it is important that the Fort Huachuca community fully understand what whistleblower reprisal is, and what it is not, before presenting an allegation of whistleblower reprisal to the office of the IG.

Whistleblower reprisal is taking or threatening an unfavorable personnel action, or withholding or threatening to withhold a favorable personnel action, because the member made, or was thought to have made, a protected communication.

A protected communication is any lawful communication to members of Congress, inspectors general, Department of Defense audit, inspection, investigation, law enforcement organization, any person in the chain of command or any other person designated pursuant to regulations or established administrative procedures to receive such communications.

Before making an allegation of whistleblower reprisal to the office of the Inspector General, or IG, ask yourself: “was an unfavorable personnel action taken or threatened?” And if so, was your command justified in their decisions as a result of the Soldier’s own actions?

Many Soldiers who make whistleblower reprisal complaints to the IG do not understand the term, or that there are certain criteria that must be met in order for the office of the IG to investigate an allegation of whistleblower reprisal. Many Soldiers who come to the IG’s office with an allegation of reprisal list the IG as their protected communication, but an IG cannot be considered a protected communication if the favorable personnel action was threatened or withheld prior to making the complaint.

As an example, Sgt. 1st Class John Doe made a congressional inquiry against his unit for abuse of authority. Once Doe’s command became aware of his request for Congressional assistance, his command relieved Doe of his platoon sergeant duties and assigned him to a different, non-leadership position. This is an example of whistleblower reprisal.

Whistleblower reprisal is not simply receiving an Article 15 or being relieved from a military course as a result of a violation of regulation, policy or law; it must be directly related to a protected communication as described above.

Those who believe they have an allegation of whistleblower reprisal, must make their complaint within 60 days of the date they became aware of the personnel action. The request for the IG to investigate an allegation of whistleblower reprisal will be declined or cannot be acted on if a protected communication was not made, an unfavorable personnel action was not taken or threatened, or the allegation is considered untimely.

Those with questions about whistleblower reprisals or other IG matters are invited to call the IG office, 533.1144.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Video captures by Thom Williams

2-13th Avn. Regiment dedicates building to memory of UAS warrant officer

Video captures by Thom Williams Members of Chief Warrant Officer 2 Edward Balli’s family and other guests watch as Army officials unveil the plaque on Balli Hall during Tuesday’s memorialization ceremony. The building was n...
 
 
Robert Shields

Fort Hood shooting victim seeks to inspire others

Robert Shields Army 1st Lt. John Arroyo works on strengthening his right hand while his occupational therapist, Katie Korp, looks on at the Center for the Intrepid in Brooke Army Medical Center’s rehabilitation center at Join...
 
 
Maci Hidalgo

New home opens for predator drones at Libby Airfield

Maci Hidalgo Brig. Gen. Edward Maxwell speaks to the attendees during the 214th Reconnaissance Group, 162d Wing, Air National Guard ribbon cutting ceremony at Libby Air Field on Fort Huachuca. Maxwell said the new facility will...
 

 

TRICARE patients must attest to health care coverage

WASHINGTON — As tax season begins, Defense Department officials want to remind TRICARE beneficiaries of changes in the tax laws, which require all Americans to have health care insurance or potentially pay a tax penalty. For the first time since the Affordable Care Act passed in 2010, all U.S. citizens, including Service members, military retirees...
 
 

Civilian of the Month

Steven Hall Agency: CECOM Logistics and Readiness Center, Communications Security Logistics Activity Position and duties: Facilities manager, and team lead for mailroom, property and supplies How long at current assignment: Since July 2007 How long in government service: 35 years, including 10 years in the military Residence: Sierra Vista Family: “Wife Debbie who resides with...
 
 

Pay off holiday debt in sensible manner

Some people spent too much on holiday gift giving, travel and entertaining, and now the credit card bills are coming due. Many are shocked to realize just how much they’ve spent. Paying for holiday expenses well into the new year doesn’t create the kind of holiday memories anyone wants. When a family’s income is stretched...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin