Four Federal Workforce Agencies Linked To International Human Rights Violations
Briefing in Carson v. MSPB before the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals has become a referendum on four federal workforce oversight agencies. The briefs reveal an ominous gap in federal whistleblower and merit system protection, honed through the agencies' actions and inaction. Proposed amici briefs suggest the matter is part of a constitutional and international human rights crisis being addressed by Opt IN USA, a grassroots U.S. foreign policy reform and international human rights campaign.
By: Opt IN USA
The referenced appeal before the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals is Carson v. MSPB, appeal nos. 2015-3135 and 2015-3211. The petitioner, professional engineer (PE) Joseph P. Carson, is a longtime U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) employee and a high profile nuclear safety whistleblower. He has contended for nearly three (3) decades that the "OSC is a law-breaking fraud of a federal agency and the MSPB is its enabler."
According to the OSC's website, it is charged with "(p)rotecting federal employees from improper personnel actions, including retaliation for whistleblowing."
Mr. Carson is undoubtedly America's leading OSC and MSPB reform advocate. Carson's reported commitment to high engineering ethics fuels his persistent challenge of the OSC and MSPB. He interjects, "Does a PE, employed by a federal agency, have a right to do his positive legal and professional duty to protect public health and safety from government agency law-breaking?
Carson v. MSPB focuses on whether the OSC's deceptively simple act of ignoring Carson's complaints about or disclosures of its own alleged unlawfulness (and that of the DOE as well as the MSPB) constitutes a personnel action. Carson is represented in the federal appeal by the Tennessee law firm of Loring Justice, PLLC. The firm's 30-page brief applauds the MSPB determination that Carson does not have to be an OSC employee to experience a personnel action by the agency. Chadwick Rickman, Carson's attorney of record, painstakingly tracks the history of relevant law and concludes that in ignoring Carson, the OSC made a "significant change" in his working conditions.
Rickman asserts: "The (OSC) has not argued and cannot argue Mr. Carson made irrational or absurd disclosures to it. The Agency never found Mr. Carson acted in less than good faith in making protected disclosures. The Agency must review protected disclosures in good faith. It could reject them, but it cannot ignore them. The Agency is neglecting its statutory function and basic duties in ensuring the integrity of the federal civil service; it has imposed an adverse 'significant change' in Mr. Carson's 'working conditions'."
Three individuals have sought leave to file separate briefs supporting Carson and reversal of the MSPB decisions against him. The proposed "friend of the court" briefs, each considered a brief of an amicus curiae, highlight concerns relevant to, but different from Carson's opening brief. Dr. Jackson and Crenshaw-Logal, mentioned above, filed their own proposed brief -- Jackson as an Opt IN USA Coordinator and Crenshaw-Logal as a judicial accountability specialist. A third brief was proposed by OSHA reform advocate Brenda McCracken.
Jackson cites the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and its requirement that each State Party to it "undertakes:
Crenshaw-Logal contends that "(t)hrough apparent judicial activism suborned by the OSC, the MSPB honed an ominous gap in federal whistleblower and merit system protection."
McCracken notes that "(a)n ineffective whistleblower protection program for federal employees creates an ineffective role model and allows bias and conflict of interest in the OSHA whistleblower protection program." She explains, "I was not a federal employee, so the OSC did not have jurisdiction over my case, but the OSHA employees who did have jurisdiction over my case are protected by the OSC; therefore, OSHA is not in a position to provide better whistleblower protection than its employees receive from the OSC." McCracken adds, "My own complaint was dumped into the EEOC mitigation process where the DOE and their contractors avoided an investigation into the safety concerns that I reported." Jackson cited sources deeming the EEOC largely ineffective.
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Zena Crenshaw-Logal, Opt IN USA Coordinator
Page Updated Last on: Apr 28, 2016