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 U.S. Office of Special Counsel
 1730 M Street, N.W., Suite 218
 Washington, D.C. 20036-4505


      WASHINGTON - The U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) announced the settlement of a prohibited personnel practice complaint filed by a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) employee.

      Under the settlement, without admitting liability, TSA rescinded the complainant’s termination, reassigned the complainant to a new airport, agreed to pay the large majority of the complainant’s relocation costs, raised the complainant’s salary by 5%, and paid the complainant’s attorney’s fees. In exchange, the complainant agreed to withdraw her OSC and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) complaints.

      The complainant, formerly an Acting Assistant Federal Security Director, filed a complaint with OSC in June 2004 alleging that she was subjected to a retaliatory investigation, placed on paid administrative leave, and ultimately, terminated because she reported to TSA’s Office of Inspector General that her supervisor illegally brought his privately owned assault rifle onto government premises. TSA investigated and corroborated the complainant’s allegation regarding the assault rifle incident. After completing its investigation, TSA eventually suspended complainant’s supervisor, the Acting Federal Security Director, for one day. The supervisor is no longer in that position.

      Within one month of TSA’s investigation of the assault rifle incident, the implicated supervisor initiated an investigation of the complainant. Shortly thereafter, the complainant was placed on paid administrative leave and ultimately terminated. Approximately, one month after the complainant’s removal from federal service, OSC sought, and received, a formal stay of the termination from the Merit Systems Protection Board.

      OSC investigated the complainant’s allegations and concluded there were reasonable grounds to believe that the personnel actions violated the Whistleblower Protection Act (WPA). The WPA makes it unlawful for an agency to take a personnel action against employees because they disclose what they reasonably believe is evidence of a violation of law, rule, or regulation. When OSC advised TSA of its findings, TSA, recognizing the importance of protecting all employees’ rights, agreed to cooperate in settling the complaint.

     Special Counsel Scott Bloch noted, “This whistleblower demonstrated courage in coming forward to report this serious situation in the federal workplace. Whistleblowers should not have to fear reprisal, and we will make sure they are protected.”


The U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) is an independent investigative and prosecutorial agency and operates as a secure channel for disclosures of whistleblower complaints. Its primary mission is to safeguard the merit system in federal employment by protecting federal employees and applicants from prohibited personnel practices, especially retaliation for whistleblowing. OSC also has jurisdiction over the Hatch Act and the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). For more information please visit our web site at www.osc.gov or call 1-800-872-9855.