How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Phillips Esq. Your Own Question
Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 18106
Experience:  B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.
Type Your Employment Law Question Here...
Phillips Esq. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I am a civilian employee(GS12) of US Government. I recently

Customer Question

Hi, I am a civilian employee(GS12) of US Government. I recently was told by a friend who also works in the same agency about a co worker who was convicted of criminal sexual conduct 4 in 1994. This guy was a state police trooper at the time and the prosecutor said that he violated his position of trust. The court records and newspaper accounts state that he was sentenced to a year in jail. Sure enough, I checked the court records and he was convicted of fondling a 15 year old boy after providing him alcohol. The case was unsuccessfully appealed to the state court of appeals and the state supreme court refused to hear the case.
On Friday I was called into the office and told by my supervisor (GS14) and his supervisor(GS15) to not repeat any rumors I hear about a co worker because they are not true. I later went back and told my supervisor that I had heard the rumor and believed it to be true due to all the published court records and newspaper accounts. I told him that I believed it to be factually correct due to all available court records. He still told me that I do not know what happened or the circumstance surrounding it and based on this to not talk about it with anyone else.
I have told my supervisor I will no longer talk about it but then again I don't know anyone else to tell. I am now in fear of reprisal since I was told by my rater and senior rater not to talk about this issue since it is not true. I did not tell them this but I accessed a state police background check website and the information matches for this guy. His physical description, his complete name and birthdate are a total match.
I am going to the union to see what my rights are because I do fear reprisal and need to be moved because they I believe they have created a hostile work place.
What I want to know from you is are my supervisors within their rights to ask me to stop talking about this individual?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 1 year ago.

No, they are not because this is not a rumor. It is a verifiable fact. So, if you are terminated for spreading a "false rumor," you would have a case for wrongful termination.

Yes, it is prudent to consult with your Union about being transferred out of that department.

Related Employment Law Questions