Retaliation or Not? The Shannon Reed Case

Retaliation or Not? The Shannon Reed Case

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This is a story from freelance writer Michael Volpe. It’s longer than a usual post, so I’ve attached it here.

Here’s his bio:
Since 2010, Michael Volpe has dedicated himself to exposing the wrongdoing of the powerful as a freelance investigative journalist. In 2012, Michael was keynote speaker for the Eugene V. Katz Award at the Center for Immigration Studies. His 2013 expose of Rosilyn Wells, who was an Affordable Care Act navigator despite an arrest warrant, made national headlines. His series of articles on the Memphis VA Medical Center in 2014 and 2015 were featured on the O’Reilly Factor and helped lead to the dismissal of the hospital’s director. Since late 2013, he’s focused on corruption in the family court system. He was the only journalist to examine Judge Lisa Gorcyca’s —notorious for the Tsimhoni case—other cases, exposing three other cases with similar lack of due process. His books include “Prosecutors Gone Wild: the Inside Story of the Trial of Chuck Panici, John Gliottoni and Louise Marshall; “The Definitive Dossier of PTSD in Whistleblowers”; and “Bullied to Death: Chris Mackney’s Kafkaesque Divorce.”

As I read through the story, I had a couple of thoughts.

1. People might not trust internal investigations. But who would you trust? Random contractors? A panel of female retirees? A panel from another federal agency? Something adversarial with appointed reps for each side, but who would judge?

2. For sexual harassment charges by someone against a supervisor, whether they are true or not, seems to me to be an irreparable rent in fabric the supervisor-employee relationship (think of a custody battle). It seems kind of macho management to insist/allow them to stay together. What good could come of it?

Finally, I’d be really interested in what current employees think of this quote from Lesa Donnelly.

She said that since Tooke was forced to retire the USFS has increased retaliation.
“Washington Office officials were publicly embarrassed and they’re angry at us, exemplified by – refusal to address complaints of harassment; HART inquiries performed on the women after they report harassment; trumped up charges of misconduct and poor performance; suspensions and removals – it has all increased. I’ve had as many contacts from women since March as I had when I filed the women’s class complaint in 1995.” Donnelley said.

Have you experienced or seen this in your workplace? Also, current employees could also help by explaining what a HART complaint is and/or sharing a link with the current process.

Superforest

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