U.S. OFFICE OF SPECIAL COUNSEL CHARGES NAVY WITH RETALIATION AGAINST AN EMPLOYEE FOR FILING A GRIEVANCE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - 1/19/00
CONTACT: JANE MCFARLAND
Today, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) announced that on January 14, 2000, it had filed petitions with the Merit Systems Protection Board
(MSPB) seeking an indefinite stay of the termination of Mr. Joseph Perfetto from his position as a Safety Technician for the U.S. Department of Navy’s Naval Support Activity
(NSA) in Naples, Italy and his permanent reinstatement into that position.
The OSC filed these petitions because its investigation into Mr. Perfetto’s allegations of reprisal concluded that his protected activity of filing a grievance against a departmental supervisor was a significant factor in the determination to fire him.
Mr. Perfetto began his appointment and one-year probationary term as a NSA Safety Technician on August 8, 1998. He filed a grievance against the NSA Director of the Public Safety Department
(PSD) on January 15, 1999. Almost immediately after learning of the grievance, the PSD Director met with the NSA Director of the Human Resources Office
(HRO) and began steps for terminating Mr. Perfetto during his probationary period. At that time, the HRO Director advised that the grievance should be resolved before issuing the termination.
On February 17, 1999, the grievance was sent back to Mr. Perfetto for him to amend and resubmit it. Later that day, Mr. Perfetto was told that he was being terminated. Mr. Perfetto’s first-line supervisor, who had rated him as “outstanding in all assigned and assumed duties,” did not learn of the termination until after it was issued.
When Mr. Perfetto’s first-line supervisor met with the PSD Director to tell him that Mr. Perfetto was an outstanding employee and that it would be a mistake to terminate him, the PSD Director criticized the supervisor for not providing him with information concerning the grievance.
At OSC’s request, the Department of Navy voluntarily stayed Mr. Perfetto’s termination and placed him on administrative leave. Although the Navy was willing to continue the informal stay, the parties agreed that a formal stay should be entered because Mr. Perfetto’s probationary employment period ended on August 8, 1999. The OSC sought a formal stay from the Board on August 4, 1999 and it has been extended a number of times. This series of stays have tolled Mr. Perfetto’s probationary period.
On January 11, 2000, the Board denied OSC’s request for an additional 45-day extension on the grounds that OSC had sent its formal corrective action letter and report of prohibited personnel practice to the Navy on December 9, 1999 and that a response was expected by January 10, 2000. The Navy, however, had requested and was granted a two-week extension to reply to the OSC report and was unable to agree informally to continue the stay of Mr. Perfetto’s termination because his probationary period would then expire. In its stay petition, the OSC requests that the Board grant an indefinite stay of Mr. Perfetto’s termination, pending the resolution of its corrective action petition. The corrective action petition requests Mr. Perfetto be reinstated in his position.
(MSPB Docket Numbers CB-1208-99-0062-U-6 and CB-1214-00-0009-T-1.)