Lawsuit Robert MacLean wins appeal in MacLean v. Department of Homeland Security

Discussion in 'Aviation Passenger Security in the USA' started by Mike, Apr 27, 2013.

  1. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    This case has been grinding its way through the system for ten years now ...

    Whistleblowers' Protection Blog: TSA Whistleblower Robert MacLean Wins Appeal (Apr 26 2013)


    In 2003, Robert MacLean blew the whistle on the Department of Homeland Security’s Transportation Security Agency’s (TSA) plan to remove U.S. air marshals from long distance flights during a heightened terrorist alert. Mr. MacLean was concerned that the suspension of overnight missions created a danger to the flying public. He complained to his supervisor and to the Office of Inspector General; both responded that they could do nothing.

    Mr. MacLean then gave information to a MSNBC reporter about the TSA’s plan. The reporter published an article criticizing the plan. The TSA withdrew its plan after criticism from the public and members of Congress. The TSA subsequently fired Mr. MacLean.

    Court Decision:

    ... the WPA prohibits individuals in positions of authority from taking a “personnel action” against a government employee when the employee makes a disclosure, which the employee reasonable believes to evidence a “substantial and specific danger to public health and safety, if such disclosure is not specifically prohibited by law.” The Court of Appeals held that MacLean’s disclosure was “not specifically prohibited by law.”

    The Court vacated the MSPB decision which upheld Mr. MacLean’s termination and remanded the case back to the MSPB to determine whether MacLean’s “disclosure qualifies for WPA protection.” The MSPB must determine whether Mr. MacLean “reasonable believed” his disclosure evidenced a “substantial and specific danger to public health and safety.”
  2. KrazyKat

    KrazyKat Original Member

    It is impossible to understate how important it is for whistleblowers to have protection.
    I'd guess most people in Mr. MacLean's shoes have long-since had their lives/livelihoods destroyed than survive such a ten-year+ case.
  3. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

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