Federal agency receives dozens of retaliation reports from whistleblowers in VA scandal

08-19-2014
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The Huffington Post reports that a federal investigative agency tasked with probing the recent healthcare scandal plaguing the Department of Veterans Affairs is currently investigating 67 claims of retaliation from supervisors against whistleblowers who have reported wrongdoing at various VA facilities nationwide. Of those complaints, 25 have been filed since June 1. Retaliation complaints have been filed at 45 separate facilities in 28 states.

Whistleblowers who worked at VA facilities have reported infractions including falsification of records, long patient waits, severe understaffing, abuse and/or neglect of patients, and more. Rather than implementing necessary policy changes or taking disciplinary action toward wrongdoers, reports claims that some supervisors have ignored the claims or even taken retaliatory disciplinary action toward the complainants by harassing or suspending them from work.

In an exemplary case, one doctor who had complained of understaffing in an emergency room at a Phoenix VA hospital was transferred, suspended and reprimanded as a result of her complaints.

Sloan Gibson, acting VA secretary, responded to the allegations of retaliation in a statement, saying, “Intimidation or retaliation…is absolutely unacceptable. I will not tolerate it in our organization.” Meanwhile, representatives on the House veterans panel praised the efforts of whistleblowers to safeguard the wellbeing of patients in the face of harassment and adversity.

Have you been a victim of retaliation in the workplace, or have you lost a loved one as a result of improper care at a VA facility? The law firm of Hodes Milman & Liebeck can help. Call 866-730-1976 today or go online at hmlm.com to learn more about your options.

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