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The U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC)'s primary mission is promoting accountability, integrity, and fairness in the Federal workplace by protecting employees and applicants against Prohibited Personnel Practices (PPPs), particularly from reprisal for whistle blowing. The agency also operates as a secure channel for federal whistle blower disclosures of violations of law, rule or regulation; gross mismanagement; gross waste of funds; abuse of authority; and substantial and specific danger to public health and safety. In addition, OSC issues advice on the Hatch Act and enforces its restrictions on political activity by government employees and protects the civilian employment and reemployment rights of military service members under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Act (USERRA).
As an OSC employee you'll be a member of a team where you can achieve your career goals and apply your skills and talents to our important mission. The Agency is ranked as one of the best Federal agencies to work for and consistently receives high employee satisfaction ratings.
OSC understands the importance of work/life balance and offers programs and workplace polices to support, flexibility, health, and wellness.
OSC offers multiple career paths in offices across the country including our Washington, DC headquarters, and Dallas, TX, Detroit, MI, and Oakland, CA Field Offices.
OSC offers opportunities for attorneys to engage in the investigation, legal analysis, and prosecution of allegations of Prohibited Personnel Practice violations, Hatch Act violations, and USERRA violations, as well as the review of disclosures of government wrongdoing. The legal issues span multiple areas of law, including federal personnel law, constitutional law, labor and employment law, administrative law, and civil procedure.
Qualified applicants will have a professional law degree (L.L.B., J.D., L.L.M.) from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association, an active membership in good standing in a bar of a state, U.S. Territory, District of Columbia, or Commonwealth or Puerto Rico, and at least one year of professional legal experience.
To be considered for future attorney positions with OSC, please submit a cover letter, resume and transcripts to firstname.lastname@example.org. Resumes will be considered active for 1 year.
Employment opportunities for staff positions are posted on USAJobs.gov (search “U.S. Office of Special Counsel" for OSC vacancies) Interested applicants must apply directly through the vacancy announcements provided on the USAJOBS website to receive consideration for positions. Each announcement includes details and instructions on how to apply along with required materials to include with your application.
OSC is invested in the professional growth of our employees. Employees have access to a wide range of developmental opportunities, including conferences, rotational assignments, seminars, trainings, and workshops.
DIVERSITY, EQUITY, INCLUSION, AND ACCESSIBILITY
The United States Government does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factor. OSC is committed to the realization of a diverse, inclusive federal workplace where employees embrace excellence in service, uphold merit system principles, are encouraged to disclose wrongdoing, and are safeguarded against reprisals and other unlawful employment practices.
We are proud to offer employment opportunities for Individuals with Disabilities. Qualified individuals may be hired under Schedule A, special hiring authority used to hire individuals with severe physical disabilities, psychiatric disabilities, and intellectual disabilities. Schedule A is an exception to the traditional hiring process. Eligibility for the Schedule A Hiring Authority does not guarantee job placement at OSC. For additional information and useful links, please visit OPM's web page on Disability and Employment.
OSC provides reasonable accommodations, upon request, for persons with disabilities when necessary during the application, interview, and hiring process (such as the need for forms in alternate formats or the use of a sign language interpreter during the interview). In addition, OSC provides reasonable accommodations to its employees who require additional assistance in carrying out their duties because of a disability. If you require a reasonable accommodation during the application or interview process, please contact the Human Capital Office at email@example.com
LAW INTERN OPPORTUNITIES
OSC offers unpaid training opportunities to law school students designed to provide challenging legal experience for individuals interested in pursuing a career in the federal government. Some volunteer internships qualify either for course credit or as part of a law school's work-study program. Interested students can contact their law schools for specific requirements.
The Special Counsel's Intern Program is a 10-week program conducted over the summer for law students to become acquainted with the mission of OSC. OSC partners with local law schools to recruit interns for the summer program. During the internship, the law student works with a division, office, or unit within OSC and participates in seminars/workshops, roundtable discussions, and mentoring.
Brief descriptions of OSC's divisions, offices, and units are below:
Investigation and Prosecution Division. The Investigation and Prosecution Division investigates, analyzes and prosecutes prohibited personnel practice complaints. The staff in this division may attempt to resolve complaints through negotiated settlements with agency officials. Attorneys also prosecute complaints before the Merit Systems Protection Board.
Alternative Dispute Resolution. The Alternative Dispute Resolution Unit mediates selected complaints from two divisions - the Investigation and Prosecution Division and the USERRA Unit. Alternative dispute resolution can yield results that are faster, less expensive and more tailored to the parties' needs than traditional legal routes.
Case Review Division. The Case Review Division is the first point of contact in OSC for individuals alleging reprisal for whistleblowing and other prohibited personnel practices. The division's staff conduct initial reviews before referral to the Investigation and Prosecution Division.
Disclosure Unit. The Disclosure Unit receives and evaluates claims of wrongdoing within the executive branch of the federal government from federal employees, former employees and applicants for federal employment. This unit's staff review five types of disclosures specified in the statute: violations of a law, rule or regulation; gross mismanagement; a gross waste of funds; an abuse of authority; and a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety. If the claim meets the statutory threshold, the matter is referred to the Secretary of the agency involved for an investigation, which culminates in a report to OSC. After the completion of OSC's review and any follow-up, the report is transmitted to the President and relevant Congressional oversight committees.
Hatch Act Unit. The Hatch Act Unit enforces the Hatch Act by investigating complaints to determine whether a violation occurred. After investigating a complaint and determining that a violation has occurred, the Unit will either issue a warning letter to the subject, attempt to informally resolve the violation, negotiate a settlement or prosecute the case before the Merit Systems Protection Board. The Unit is also responsible for outreach, training and advisory opinions.
Office of General Counsel. The Office of General Counsel provides legal advice to OSC program areas. In addition, attorneys in this office are responsible for OSC's Freedom of Information Act and Privacy Act programs, for defending OSC in litigation in federal court, and for advising on any area of law that may affect a federal agency, such as ethics, appropriations or information security.
Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA Unit ). This Unit receives, investigates, resolves, and (if necessary) litigates USERRA complaints against federal executive agencies. USERRA staff review USERRA complaints and gather relevant information to determine whether a violation occurred. If staff concludes there is sufficient evidence of a violation, OSC attempts to correct the violation with the agency involved and to obtain appropriate relief for the claimant. If such efforts are unsuccessful, OSC may represent the claimant and file an action before the Merit Systems Protection Board.