Veterans in Minnesota and across the country may not have been receiving the assistance to which they are entitled, according to many published news reports. However, now some individuals who have exposed the VA for mismanaging the organization and abusing patients are making claims that they have become the victims of retaliation.
The United States Office of Special Counsel has received 37 complaints regarding such retaliation. The OSC is an independent investigative agency that looks into complaints and the treatment of federal employees. One VA employee that had a spotless record over the last 20 years was suspended from work after making reports that patients had been restrained in an inappropriate manner. Another employee reported being demoted after disclosing information about the mishandling of patient funds. The OSC is still investigating this claim. Another complaint stated that an employee was suspended for seven days after telling the inspector general’s office about scheduling and coding procedures that were not proper. Altogether, the complaints regard facilities that are located in 19 states.
Reports by veterans of improper care of them and their funds are pervasive. A separate review of 49 employee reports detail how veterans have died while on long waiting lists for medical care. Other reports claim that doctors have falsified records to cover up the long waiting period and veteran deaths. A separate website created to lodge veteran complaints has received about 640 submissions in a month’s time. The OSC has not released information about the VA employees that have come forward.
Individuals who report unethical actions by their employers may be protected by a state or federal statute if they are terminated or otherwise adversely treated as a result. An employment law attorney can advise them as to what their rights are in such an event.
Source: FOX News, “Price of coming forward: 37 VA whistle-blowers claim retaliation“, Joshua Rhett Miller, June 06, 2014