Browsing: Carolyn Lerner

Legislation tweaking Hatch Act goes to White House

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The Merit Systems Protection Board would be able to mete out a wider range of punishments for Hatch Act violators under a bill that won final congressional approval today and now goes to President Obama for his signature. Instead of firing violators–the only authorized penalty up to now unless the board unanimously opts for a different route–the MSPB  could issue formal reprimands; reduce violators’ pay grades; bar them from federal employment for up to five years; or fine them up to $1,000. Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, sponsored the bill in the Senate; Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., handled it in the…

Special Counsel warns against targeted monitoring of whistleblowers

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The U.S. Special Counsel on Wednesday warned that agencies could be reprimanded for targeting whistleblowers and monitoring emails that report wrongdoing. In the memo, Special Counsel Carolyn Lerner said that targeting emails between whistleblowers and the OSC or inspectors general for surveillance is “highly problematic.” Agencies that deliberately target whistleblowers’ submissions or draft submissions to OSC or IGs could be accused of retaliating against the employees, Lerner said. “This is the first finding that we are aware of in which a government agency has stated that there are limits on how federal agencies can monitor employee email,” Stephen Kohn, executive…