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Liability Insurance for Federal Employees and Contractors

False Job Classifications at ATF Lead to Increased Scrutiny

An Office of Special Counsel (OSC) investigation found that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has been inaccurately classifying many jobs as law enforcement positions. Because of this misclassification, the agency overpaid the employees affected by more than $20 million and provided them with entitlements to benefits to which employees in their position are not supposed to receive.

The investigation was brought on by complaints from two whistleblowers from ATF’s Human Resources office. They revealed that the bureau unlawfully provided pay and benefits to agents and investigators who were not in law enforcement positions – some of which were in the Human Resources office.

Due to the significant financial impact the allegedly intentionally misclassified jobs had over a five-year period, OPM suspended the authority of ATF to classify law enforcement positions.

Senator Joni Ernst issued a press release and sent a letter to the Inspector General of the Department of Justice requesting that the IG investigation include recommendations for disciplinary action up to and including termination, as well as criminal referrals where appropriate, for those ATF personnel implicated in improper or illegal activity. Even if not directly involved in this incident, Human Resources professionals at ATF are vulnerable to being wrapped up in the investigation. Additionally, ATF losing their ability to classify law enforcement positions may cause administrative setbacks that can reflect poorly on employees and managers. If that happens, it is essential that employees are able to defend themselves – FEDS Protection can help.

Alleged incidents involving federal employees can lead to agency investigations. If an allegation is made against you, it is a necessity, not luxury, to have knowledgeable and effective counsel advocating on your behalf. Your agency attorney is not your attorney. It is the job of the agency attorney to defend the agency – not you. As a federal employee, you need to have counsel that has specific experience representing employees with your professional vulnerabilities.

FEDS Protection offers federal employee policies with $1 million, $2 million, or $3 million in civil liability protection for attorney’s fees and indemnity costs in the event you are sued in your civil capacity.  The FEDS policy also includes $200,000 of legal representation coverage per incident for administrative actions and $100,000 of coverage for criminal defense costs.  Annual premiums for FEDS Protection PLI start at $290, which is less than it would typically cost to hire a federal employment lawyer for an hour. Additionally, federal managers and law enforcement officers are eligible for a reimbursement of up to 50% the cost of their PLI policy through their agency.  To learn more about how a FEDS PLI policy can protect you and your career, visit or call (866) 955-FEDS, M-F 8:30am-6pm to speak directly to a representative.



*This article is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.
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