Feb. 9, 2005 – The federal office tasked with assisting government employees in pursuing complaints against their employers is making good on threats to fire workers who refuse mandatory transfers from the Washington office to field offices in Texas, California and Michigan.
After seven of the twelve workers who last month received relocation directives rejected the orders, US Special Counsel Scott Bloch, the Bush appointee whose job is to help ensure fairness in federal workplaces, issued each of the seven hold-outs a mandatory one-week period to reconsider the decision, according to a press release from Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), a nonprofit organization that helps protect government whistleblowers.
Four of the five employees who accepted their relocation orders told PEER they did so under duress. As previously reported by The NewStandard, the group facing transfer or firing constitutes one-fifth of the Office of Special Counselâ€™s investigative and legal staff. Activists and a lawyer close to the case have speculated that the Blochâ€™s motive in the relocations and firings is to create empty slots in Washington that can be filled with fresh, more loyal personnel.