Whistleblower Law Blog

Federal Times Quotes The Employment Law Group® Managing Principal R. Scott Oswald on Recent Lawsuit Filed by FDA Whistleblowers

R. Scott Oswald, Managing Principal of the The Employment Law Group® law firm, was recently interviewed by Federal Times, a weekly newspaper focused on providing insight into issues affecting U.S. government managers and other decision makers.

On January 25, 2012, six current and former Food and Drug Administration (FDA) employees filled a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia alleging that the FDA violated their constitutional privacy rights. The employees claim that the FDA monitored the employees’ emails sent from private accounts over a period of two years. The lawsuit also alleges that the employees were targeted for their whistle-blowing after they expressed concern to Congress that the FDA has approved purportedly unsafe medical devices.

The FDA terminated two of the employees and did not renew the contracts of another two following the whistleblowers’ decision to come forward and report the approval of medical products they believed were unsafe.

Responding to the FDA’s alleged intrusion into the whistleblowers’ private emails, Mr. Oswald told the Federal Times:

“I think the FDA went too far in its zeal to monitor these employees. Employers who access [and] retain emails or other electronic stored information from a third-party server risk violating an employee’s privacy interest.”

The article, “When Can Agencies Monitor Your Email? FDA Case Sparks Debate Over Policy”, appeared in the February 5, 2012 edition of the Federal Times.

The Employment Law Group® law firm has an extensive nationwide whistleblower practice representing employees who have been victims of retaliation.

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