My question involves labor and employment law for the state of: Virginia
The name I am using as my login is not me. It is the name of one of the persons fired from the office he worked in. I am simply an outside party attempting to remain anonymous. This course of events have been taken up the proper chain of command (both on the contract side, and the government side) with no solution other than Mr Mills being fired. Any further attempts have resulted in people being "reminded" of what happened to Mr Mills. This was also reported to 7 local media stations, as well as the Virginia Dept. of Labor, with not a single response. The employees affected now feel helpless under the severely corrupted management.
The case is as follows: (Names have been altered, can be provided if legal action is taken.)
These incidents involve an office within the United States Department of State in Springfield, VA
CHAIN OF EVENTS
1: Contract radio technicians are split between Company C and Company P. All contract radio technicians are Exempt employees. Comp Time is used by both companies by billing “Administrative Leave” for Overtime hours worked that this office is unwilling to fund (technicians were allowed to take up to 16 hours of paid Overtime per installation trip). Company C has no manager at this office as she was let go because she was “not needed”. Company P has a manager in this office, Mr. D. Ms. N is the government Contract Representative. Morale at this time was reasonably high.
2: Government Contract Representative Ms. N and Company P contract manager Mr. D engage in a physical, sexual relationship dating back to an unknown time. Their relations are video taped by Mr. D and somehow get put online. During the time of their sexual relationship, the contract for this office was awarded to Company P, Mr. D’s company. All contract radio technicians were changed to Non-Exempt employees. All Overtime pay was eliminated, but Comp Time (calculated as straight time) was continued.
3: A contract radio technician stumbles upon the video of the sexual relationship between Ms. N and Mr. D on an adult website. Naturally, this information spread very quickly through this office and the entire Department of State. Company P employee Mr. X brought this information to Company P through program manager Mr. K. Others within this office and outside of the office bring the video to the attention of Diplomatic Security and a formal investigation of the incident begins. (This video has been saved and can be provided, as well as found online)
4: Contract radio technician and Company P employee, Mr. C, leaves this office for a different position citing his disgust for Mr. D and the inter-workings of the political scene at this office for his reason for leaving. Mr. C had kept documentation of any misdeeds and illegal activities by Mr. D for the prior year and he took that information to Company P HR on his last day. Company P HR informed Mr. C that they were well aware of almost all of these incidents, but that they were threatened by an unnamed government employee that if Mr. D were to be fired that Company P would be removed from any and all U.S. Department of State contracts.
5: Mr. D and Mr. K began a campaign of misinformation directed at the contract radio technicians and government employees of this office. They goal was to convince the staff of this office that the newly awarded Contract V was creating a financial strain that would have to be alleviated by layoffs throughout the government Division.
6: Mr. X was fired from Company P by Mr. K who referenced the need for lay-offs as the rationale behind him being let go. Approximately a week later, Company P e-mailed Mr. X and asked him why he quit. Mr. X informed them that Mr. K had fired him and that he had not resigned his position. Company P, fearing a wrongful termination lawsuit, quickly offered Mr. X his old position back. Mr. X declined this offer.
7: Mr. M, the government employee at this office in charge of site access was informed by DS that Mr. D and Ms. N were to be removed from the access list for the building, indicating that more than likely their security clearances had been revoked. Ms. N was also placed on a 90 day unpaid suspension. The employees in this office were told by Mr. D and by Branch Chief Mr. G that Ms. N’s absence was due to her mother’s illness.
8: Contract radio technicians began to realize the fact that Comp Time payment to Non-Exempt employees for Overtime hours worked is illegal. These concerns were raised and immediately shot down. Mr. D and Mr. K required employees to work Overtime for Comp Time reimbursement despite their objections. Several employees to include Mr. H and Mr. W had their employment threatened by Mr. K and Mr. D (respectively) for raising concerns about this. Mr. H and another contract radio technician were even required to work a total of 164 Overtime hours on one trip, only getting paid with Comp Time. Mr. W told Mr. G that the Comp Time payment is illegal and Mr. D even admitted to Mr. W that he knew that the Comp Time arrangement was illegal and that he was doing it at the request of Mr. K.
9: The morale within the office is at an all-time low and it is an absolutely hostile work environment. After all of the misdeeds by Mr. D, Mr. K and Ms. N, they all have retained their positions and power of authority. The three of them know that all of the contract radio technicians are aware of their misdeeds and have created an environment whereby employees feel that if they say the wrong thing or raise any concerns about Mr. D, Mr. K or Ms. N to anyone with Company P or the U.S. Department of State that they will be let go in a similar manner as Mr. X was.
10: In the past 3 months, the internal wireless network used for work had become considerably slower. After running scans of the network, it was found that Mr. D has been "ARP poisoning" the network. This has been traced to his cellular telephone by means of his MAC Address. ARP poisoning is a means by which a person can run a scan of a network and retrieve data from it. The inherent flaw with doing this is that it requires extensive bandwidth to operate. Not only was Mr. D illegally intercepting internet data but also was affecting productivity. The more disturbing fact is that it allows the person doing it to see EVERYTHING on the network and what users are doing, up to an including password capturing and being able to access private accounts like email, social networking sites, and bank accounts. The user is even able to send emails from these accounts, or make posts on the social networking sites, as if they were the person whom the account belonged to.
11: Mr. D has intentionally destroyed several chairs in the office by slicing them with a razor, calling them "unserviceable" and then throwing them away. The most recent was the second week of April 2012, where he said he caught an employee sleeping in it, when that was simply not true. In fact, the employee was out of the office on travel for work when the incident occurred. Mr. M sent out an e-mail to all of the office about the incident and how the destruction of government property will not be tolerated. Shortly after this e-mail was distributed several employees questioned Mr. D and he retorted with "Yea, I cut the ****ing chairs up. I don't give a **** what Ron says. I'll cut 'em all up".
12: On 5/29/2012, Mr. D told Mr. M "Yea...the contract stuff is coming back up again. They want us to let 3 more people go". It is the same thing that was done just before Mr. Mills was fired, and falls within the 6 month time frame Mr. K states in an email later in this post.
Early in 2011, a video was found by an employee of Company P on an adult website, of United States Civil Service employee Ms. N and Company P contractor Mr. D, performing sexual acts in Ms. N’s office. Due to the daylight, it is possible that this may have occurred during business hours as the two always close and lock their office doors when in each other's offices. From watching the video, it is clear to see that Mr. D is the one recording, most likely on a cell phone camera. The office can be, and has been positively identified by several employees, as well as the persons involved. Mr. D was identified by a birthmark on his leg. (Shortly after the incident, a search of the video online found only dead links with a notice that stated "This video has been removed due to law enforcement request". Slowly the video is showing up again and can be provided).
Ms. N is the contracting officer for RPB for the V contract. During the same time the video was found, the office was between contracts as the majority of contractors in the facility belonged to Company C. The new contract came down to Company C who was sub-contracted under Company G, and Company P who was subcontracted under Company S. Company P ended up winning the contract, and all Company C employees were transferred to Company P. Shortly after, Mr. D was made a "manager" by Company P Project Manager Mr. K, and was to remain in the building (two years earlier Mr. D fought to have a Company C manager removed from the building because there "was no need for a contracting manager in the office").
It did not take long for word of the video to circulate the entire State Department, as contractor Mr. X reported this issue to his chain of command.
Near the end of 2011, Ms. N, Mr. D, and Mr. K started to build up a lie that there were serious budget problems due to the fact there were " issues in the contract that [Company S] did not foresee". They stated that "one or two people may have to be let go". Early in 2012, Mr. X was "laid off" in what was supposedly a string of layoffs affecting all of [the government Division], up to and including upper management and human resources.
Management told the remaining employees that Mr. X was "let go because it would have the least impact". Yet his duties had to be split up between 3 people, in addition to their current duties. Mr. D took on none of the duties, even though he produces no work and only spends his time on his personal business or harassing employees.
Within a week of his firing, Mr. X received an e-mail from Company P HR department wondering "why he quit his job, and if there was anything that he was unhappy with to cause it". Mr X stated he was fired by Project Manager Mr. K. In a panic, Company P offered him his job back, but he did not accept because "he would not work another day with [Mr. D]". Mr. K offering his job back was an apparent form of blackmail so he would not report any further illicit activities. Upon Mr. X denying a re-hire offer, Mr. K threatened to "destroy his security clearance" if he would ever report their actions.
Immediately, people from different parts of [the government Division] began talking, and it was soon found out that not a single person from any of the other branches were fired. Mr. D tried to tell the contract staff that "even [another Company P employee] up in HR was let go", when it was known for a fact that employee left the company on her own accord in October 2011 to take on a new position elsewhere.
Shortly after, an email was sent to the RPB staff by Mr. K,
To all, as we have all unfortunately witnessed first hand, DoS budgetary cutbacks have directly impacted the [Contract V], resulting in staffing cutbacks throughout [the government Division].
[Company S] is currently in the process of awarding [Company P] a six-month extension to our [Contract V] sub-contract. Please note that since this award is based on our existing staffing plan, no additional staffing cutbacks are expected during this extension.
Please feel free to contact me if I can provide additional information and/or assistance. Thanks,
Program Manager / Support Contractor
The email was written to include all of [the government Division] on Contract V, yet the only people on the email it was sent to, in respect to the "Sent" block on the email, was the staff in this office.
In a recent WAR ([the government Division]'s Weekly Activities Report), the following was found:
[Contract V] Contract Negotiations Produce $63M Cost Reduction:
[The government Division] just completed the negotiations for [Contract V] Option Year 1 with [Company S]. This contract consolidated 46 separate labor contracts during the base year. The transition went well and over ninety-five percent of incumbent working level contractors transitioned. There has been a minimal amount disruption to the day to day work of [the government Division] operations. [The government division] successfully negotiated $63 million in cost reductions over the next nine years of the contract with most of the savings front loaded in the early years, and changed the contracting mechanism for managing projects from firm fixed price back to time and materials to improve project management under this contract.
This put all the traveling employees into a frenzy because for months they were told that the reason they were not allowed to take overtime, was because Contract V was still performance based and needed to be time and materials. They were also told that the budget was not there and Company S would not approve the overtime. This report showed both reasons were lies, and after speaking with Company S HR and finance department, it was found that "[Company S] will never turn down overtime requests".
In turn, Mr. D, Ms. N, and Mr. K forced people to take "comp time" instead. Due to the fact all employees are non-exempt, they legally MUST be paid for any time worked and could not "bank" hours. So to get around that, Mr. D and Ms. N willingly forced employees to illegally and fraudulently record hours on their timesheets that they did not work so they could use this comp time.
They currently still push people to take comp time, and Mr. K has begun to threaten peoples jobs if they continue to remind him that forcing the employees to take comp time is illegal. Another employee was threatened to be removed from a high profile Secretary of State Protection Detail because he simply asked for Mr. K to put in writing that he said the employee must take comp time. Mr. K stated that people need to "stop undermining his authority, and just take the comp time".
Mr. K has on several occasions, asked people to change hours on their timecard even after they have been processed. Also, upon one employee bringing up this obvious concern relating to comp time, Mr. D said to him "if you keep kicking up dust, it may be you getting dirty".
Late 2011, contract employee Mr. C left the company, due to Mr. D. Upon his leaving, he went to Company P’s HR to state why he was leaving, as well as state his grievances he had with Mr. D. He was told that they knew about all of them and supposedly wanted to fire him, but that influences outside the office told them that if Mr. D were to be fired, they would "make sure Company P and all its employees would be fired and removed from the contract".
Not only is Mr. D involved in this, he also uses his work time and government materials and equipment to make and modify carburetors for high performance race cars. He currently runs a business selling these carburetors online. More recently, he also began to use time, materials and equipment for his Remote Control car hobby, which he also does work for other people selling his services.
Mr. C, in the months leading to his quitting, began to keep a very detailed log of the government owned vehicles Mr. D and Ms. N would use. These are only meant to be used for official business, and it was found that Mr. D and Ms. N would be putting themselves on the calendar for one hour, but would be gone in upwards to four hours. They would also use the vehicles to go to lunch.
Mr. X was also the facilities maintenance contact and was in charge of many things, including the vehicles. If there was any issue with them he would be called. In 2011 he had received a call asking "why the government vehicle was parked outside of an apartment complex in Stafford, VA." At the time, the only person in the office living in an apartment in Stafford was Ms. N.
Both Mr. D and Mr. K are constantly harassing the contract technicians saying they will be fired. It is not uncommon to be threatened numerous times daily. Since the discovery of the video, and it being reported, the atmosphere has become extremely volatile. Many of the contractors are actively searching for new jobs, one is leaving in August, and a few have actually started their own businesses and are hoping they will take off so they too can leave. The morale of the employees because of Mr. D and Mr. L has become almost non-existent.
Mr. D has kept his job in a managerial position and Ms. N was been put on a three month suspension without pay, which ended in April. Branch Chief Mr. G has stated Ms. N has resumed her role as Domestic Radio Officer and Contract Officer as if nothing happened.
Mr. D has currently been leaving early several days a week to visit Ms. N in Stafford. He does not put himself on the calendar nor take leave most days. His vehicle has been spotted in her apartment complex several times during and after business hours. It is believed he may be living with her as in his own words "me and my wife are going through rough times." This is due to the fact that shortly after the incident was reported, someone had also sent the video to his wife.
Is there anything the current employees can do to protect their positions, while seeking punishment for offenders?