Armed Forces News

The Office of Special Council has asked the Merit Systems Protection Board to take corrective action to restore an Army physician to a leadership post that she lost following disclosure of lab safety issues to management and the DoD inspector general.

The former director of a biological personnel program at an Army medical research institute was once responsible for screening and evaluating individuals for medical fitness to work in secure biosafety labs. However, according to OSC, once she raised concerns to the DoD IG about substandard lab inspections and discouragement of employees from reporting mishaps – she was reassigned and threatened with termination.

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The OSC complaint alleges retaliatory actions over a six year span starting with an investigation resulting in reassignment away from physician duties (to a desk in a medical records room), suspension of clinical privileges, and a notice proposing firing her from her job. OSC also said that it issued a report of a prohibited personnel practice to the Army in March of 2020 but that the Army has not taken corrective action, as the physician remains “idled.”

“Federal Agencies are prohibited from retaliating against employees for raising safety concerns and participating in [IG] investigations,” said Special Counsel Henry J. Kerner. “OSC is committed to ensuring that the Army provides appropriate corrective action to Dr. Dillon to remedy its unlawful retaliation against her.”

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