If you are not familiar with the Farm Crisis of the 1980s, find a coworker that is – and ask about it. If you supervise employees, work with loans or tough cases, especially those that could draw internal or external scrutiny, or are involved with environmental issues that could draw suits by anti-livestock or other environmental groups, you could find yourself in a situation where you need to hire your own personal attorney – just for doing your job. And in the last decade, professional liability exposure has become substantially more prevalent.
As an FSA county employee, you have the same liability exposures as federal employees, but you also have access to the same protections - at the same price. FEDS Protection offers federal employee professional liability insurance policy that extends coverage to FSA county employees as matters involving federal processes and programs can be adversarial, often confrontational, and used to advance political agendas. When a claim or allegation is made against you, your office, or your agency, investigations begin – and errors and omissions are found. These matters are exacerbated when involving:
- Potential Monetary Loss to a Program. The larger the alleged program or program loss or lawsuit, the more scrutiny and media attention, and possibly even political attention, it will receive. If a large loss occurs and doesn’t result in a lawsuit, FSA employees are still at risk for OIG, Agency management / misconduct, congressional investigations – and disciplinary action. For example, congressional investigations can create complex situations that often blindside the employee. They often involve complex constitutional issues that need to be identified and handled appropriately as it is often the case that an employee or manager has unknowingly or unintentionally violated a rule and possibly even a criminal statute. Not every employee receives the same type or amount of training, not every employee has an entirely seasoned and experienced staff, and with the amount of case files processed by all management teams, there are errors made. This, however, does not change the fact that a violation has occurred, or that the job of the investigator is to uncover and prosecute violators.
- Media Sensation or Social Media Propaganda. Employees lives have been turned upside down starting with an allegation that led to media coverage, to public anger, to lawsuits, investigations, disciplinary – and even criminal proceedings.
- Regulatory Oversight. Assuming allegations will be automatically dismissed or defended by your agency is a mistake. Sometimes the most well intended civil servant unknowingly or unintentionally violates a civil service or other law, rule or regulation. Having FEDS Protection ensures a complete legal defense is not cost prohibitive.
- Political Agendas. You’ve certainly seen a snippet of the impeachment hearings. In this most recent congressional investigation, your State Department brothers and sisters were called to testify about what they did, heard or witnessed. If they didn’t have PLI in place, they had to hire attorneys to counsel and prepare them. These employees are average, hard-working employees that had no idea how broad, frightening and overwhelming congressional powers are when conducting investigations. These types of investigations are now often used as a game of strategy, where federal programs and employees are the political pawns. Politicians, on both sides, use the investigative process to push political agendas leaving a wake of destruction for employees and agencies.
With FEDS Protection:
You are appointed your own personal attorney to defend against work related allegations, claims and lawsuits. The FEDS professional liability policy provides coverage for (1) Administrative & Disciplinary Matters, (2) Personal Capacity Lawsuits, and (3) Criminal Investigations that you could be subjected to while performing your job.
- Administrative & Disciplinary Matters. FEDS Protection pays for legal defense for any administrative investigation or judicial sanction proceeding arising out of any act, error, or omission while rendering a professional service. This applies to any administrative investigation including but not limited to OIG, OPR, OSC, Office of Inspection, Congressional, and agency directed investigations AS WELL AS disciplinary actions.
- Personal Capacity Lawsuits / Bivens Actions. You Can Be Sued. DOJ Can Deny Representation. You Can be Held Liable for a Judgment. FEDS Protection pays for legal defense and indemnity protection if you are sued for any act, error or omission arising out of the course and scope of employment.
- Criminal Investigations. Some of the most common criminal investigations involving FSA employees are due to conflict of interest statutes where intent is not a prerequisite to prove the crime, alleged misappropriation of federal funds, or inadvertent release of privacy act or other statutorily protected information. FEDS PLI pays for legal defense for any criminal investigation or proceeding into any act, error, or omission arising out of your rendering of a professional service.
If you are also a manager or supervisor, the policy provides Employment Practices Liability claims as a result of employee allegations of:
- Wrongful Termination, and
- Whistleblower Reprisal.
FEDS Protection is Affordable and Recommended by NASCOE – the National Association of FSA County Office Employees.
$1,000,000 Limit; Annual Premium is $290 plus SL tax/fee
$2,000,000 Limit; Annual Premium is $390 plus SL tax/fee
Don’t forget your NASCOE discount code to save $10.
Enrollment takes just 5 minutes.
Please see the Master Policy for complete policy terms and conditions.