Q & A Session – Unethical Supervisor


Ask the Lawyer received the following question (paraphrased for easier reading and clarity) from a reader on a legal matter that might be of interest to the entire audience.


I work for a federal agency and have concerns about my supervisor’s work habits. He routinely takes long lunches and uses his government phone to conduct personal business, among other things. There are many examples of unethical practices, but am I overreacting? What should be done?


You are describing making yourself a whistleblower. What you are disclosing is a protected disclosure, but many whistleblowers experience reprisal. If you decide to disclose the wrongdoing you believe you are observing and experience reprisal, you may file a claim with the U.S. Office of Special Counsel.

Bill Bransford is managing partner of Shaw Bransford & Roth PC.

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About Author

Debra Roth

Debra L. Roth is a partner at the law firm Shaw Bransford & Roth, a federal employment law firm in Washington, D.C. She is general counsel to the Senior Executives Association and the Federal Managers Association, host of the “FEDtalk” program on Federal News Radio, and a regular contributor to Federal News Radio’s “Federal Drive” morning show. Email your legal questions to lawyer@federaltimes.com.


  1. And pray that upper management and the OSC share “your” belief his actions are in fact wrongdoing which would make you a whistle blower. Otherwise you risk being labeled just another malcontent or disgruntled employee in need of a performance improvement program.

  2. I am a supervisor That had an EEO complaint filed against me for Taking an action on an employee, (Discipline)
    The charges were not founded,
    I would like to know if I can Sue that Employee for deformation of Character.

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