Difficulties Experienced Incident to Employment With the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

B-193925: Feb 26, 1979

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An employee of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health wished to protest working conditions and adverse personnel actions that occurred during his employment. The jurisdiction of GAO, however, is essentially limited to the settlement of monetary claims made by or against the United States, and to the audit and evaluation of governmental programs. GAO does not act on individual complaints concerning working conditions or personnel actions unless a monetary claim is involved. Complaints concerning alleged assaults or trespass which may constitute criminal acts should be reported by the employee to the appropriate police authorities. A monetary claim may not be properly laid against the United States in this case, however, since under the Federal Tort Claims Act the Government is not liable for assaults or other wrongful acts committed by employees acting outside the scope of employment. Employees are entitled to contest their job classification, as well as adverse personnel actions against them, and to file administrative appeals with the Office of Personnel Management, in the event the employing agency denies relief.