The Office of Inspector General (OIG) for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) investigated allegations that a U.S. Coast Guard member was retaliated against for making protected communications under the Military Whistleblower Protect Act, 10 U.S.C. § 1034.
The investigation found that the member made a protected communication and that several personnel actions were taken against the member after the member made the protected communication, including a negative performance evaluation that did not include a recommendation for advancement.
DHS OIG found that the member’s supervisors expressed animosity against the member and others for their involvement in the making of the protected communication, which resulted in an internal investigation. DHS OIG also determined that during the member’s counseling session regarding the performance evaluation, the member’s immediate supervisor criticized the member for making the protected communication and accused the member of having “jumped the chain of command.”
DHS OIG found, based on a preponderance of the evidence, that the member would not have received a negative performance evaluation, nor suffered other personnel actions, in the absence of the member’s protected communication.
DHS OIG provided its report of investigation to the Acting Secretary for appropriate action under the Military Whistleblower Protection Act.