Commentaries

Perspective – A Letter To My Sister

Sis,

It was good hearing from you last night. I’m happy your family is well in Boston. I sensed from your note that you may be feeling a little anxious and apprehensive about the current virus crisis. If so, you’re in plenty of company. Yet I offer you this small piece of sage counsel as your big brother. As with everything in life – keep a proper perspective.

Everyone is going around shouting how “unprecedented” the coronavirus is, as though this were some sort of alien invasion from a B category scifi flick.

Perspective folks… perspective.

The U.S. (indeed the world) has faced far deadlier viruses and diseases throughout history. Have people forgotten Typhoid Fever (“Typhoid Mary”)? Asian Flu? Polio? The aforementioned calamities had death tolls in the many thousands – each year – before vaccines were discovered. I think what is “unprecedented” about the current epidemic is that it is taking place in the modern information age, where news media and social media are on a 24/7 cycle. And of course it’s always bad news. That is what the media thrives on.

The end result of a pandemic occurring in 2020 is widespread panic, fear, doom and gloom. After all, they didn’t have around the clock CNN, Google, et al, back in 1906/07 when Typhoid Mary broke out.

The Coronavirus is real. Very real. It’s not just an annoyance, as some out of touch politicians would have us believe. The coronavirus should be respected as a very serious international public health threat. Yet prudent people must not allow themselves to get caught up in the media induced panic. America – indeed the world – has faced much deadlier viral foes. And we survived. Life went on.

My counsel to you – to myself? Stay calm. Stay reasonably informed but not locked into the media – just a few media minutes a day does it for me. Take prudent precautions to stay healthy. Be flexible and open to change from routine as much as necessary. Accept inconveniences. It’s the new normal. And likely to stay. Manage your environment – namely how you interact with others. That is, stay sane, calm, aware but optimistic. Surround yourself with like minded people. Avoid where possible the doom and gloom crowd.

Sis, last night I scrolled to a text I saw from you. It showed a picture of you smiling and having a blast riding a camel during a trip to Morocco. One doesn’t often see a Boston girl on the back of a camel in the dessert! Keep that joy and laughter in your heart. Keep your sense of humor. Keep your zest for life, and the crazy fun feeling of riding a camel! Don’t allow the “unprecedented” media frenzy to rob you of that which makes you uniquely you.

Be safe, sensibly cautious, and prudent in these unsettling times. But very importantly – be you!

In the final analysis, this pandemic – ugly though it is – is a test of who we all are underneath the surface. Our true character is revealed. It’s so easy to be sane during sane times. But who are we really when things become unglued? Are we still the kind, considerate, thoughtful people whom we previously imagined ourselves to be in times of calm? Are we still honorable and valiant, committed to the principle of the good community? Or have we been reduced to the bottom line – every person for him/herself? The attitude of bullies – the biggest, meanest, most powerful survive.

It has been said that fire is the test of gold – adversity is the test of strong men and women. This is our personal and global test of 2020.

Be well, sis. Wellness in all aspects.

Love,

Your brother – Shenandoah

Attorney Shenandoah Titus, Author of The Whistleblower: Defeating Bullies, Harassers & Management Gang Retaliation (Amazon)

Watch us: https://bit.ly/Workplace-Human-Rights Visit us: www.warn-honor.com

The Case for Settling

I often receive queries from supporters across the country who, after sharing their horrid stories of workplace abuse, inquire whether I would “advise” them to settle their claim or go the full route of litigation. Their questions are always sincere, as they are seeking my counsel as one of the nation’s premier attorneys on whistleblower law and anti-bullying. I am flattered by their vote of confidence in my expertise.

Yet as an attorney, I must reply each time that I cannot render legal advice to nonclients. That is a boundary that I must strictly adhere to as a matter of professional ethics. Therefore, you guessed it, I must give that disclaimer herein.

The decision as to whether or not you choose to settle your action or take it the distance is for you to make, hopefully guided by a competent and committed attorney who has formed an attorney-client relationship with you. Accordingly, what I share herein is absolutely not to be construed as legal advice. Each case is different, both in terms of the strength of the case and what approach makes the most strategic sense.

I offer here only my personal observation based on my experience as a whistleblower and survivor of workplace bullying, which I write about in my book – The Whistleblower: Defeating Bullies, Harassers & Management Gang Retaliation (available on Amazon).

There are several realistic factors that heavily influenced my decision to settle my retaliation and harassment case against the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS), namely against the Office of Civil Rights & Civil Liberties, and the Office of the Chief Human Capital Officer. Allow me to briefly address each factor:

Time and Expense of Litigation. People are mesmerized over Hollywood dramas and news clips where the underdog plaintiff (complainant) succeeds in a multi-million-dollar jury verdict against the Goliath corporation in a whistleblower retaliation action. Of course, we all know that Hollywood does not depend on reality to stay in business.

And as for the media, be not fooled by the one sensationalized case out of one thousand cases that go the other way. It stands to reason that if winning big at trial were the norm in such cases, it would not be on the evening news.

What we don’t see in the media clips and in the movies is the many years it took for the case to reach that dramatic conclusion – the emotional, physical and spiritual drain the toll took on the lowly plaintiff. We also don’t see how much money, often to the point of bankruptcy, it cost the plaintiff in legal fees and oftentimes medical expenses to stay the marathon course.

Appeals. Large employers – corporations, government, etc., typically have on their payroll an army of lawyers whose job it is to defend the agency’s interests. Sometimes appeals occur due to a legitimate sense that the lower court wrongfully decided against the company. Yet in the real world, which is the one that I focus on as an attorney, oftentimes companies exhaust their appeals simply in an effort to crush the will of the plaintiff – even as an act of retaliation for having brought the claim in the first place.

In my book, I coined the phrase “Management Gang.” These conniving bullies know full well that the plaintiff’s financial resources are typically very limited, while theirs is virtually unlimited because their company lawyers need something to keep them busy.

Drawn out appeals do not cost the management gang a single penny personally. It is the plaintiff who must bear his or her own burden of challenging appeals – often to his or her own detriment.

I have heard from so many supporters who have shared their outrage and true hurt over the dastardly deeds of workplace bullies. When treated with such indignity and disdain by those who hired you to be a part of their “team,” it is only natural to desire to bring the full weight of the law down upon these bastards. For many who have reached out to me, they view settlement as a “cop out,” abandoning their principles.

I hear you. Remember, I am not just an author and attorney who has a passing intellectual interest in the issue of workplace bullying. I’ve walked a mile or two in your shoes. I’ve felt your pain and outrage.

Yet I walked away on July 27, 2018, feeling and in fact knowing that my (undisclosed) settlement against DHS represented a victory for me, not capitulation. Why? Because I knew it was FINAL and could not be appealed.

I also knew, with great satisfaction, that I had deprived the bastards of draining my resources, my health and my spirit for years to come had I continued the case. I knew that I had exercised keen intellect, prudence and savvy in reaching what was a very honorable and unusually high settlement.

I walked away having won on every single issue that I cared about – my dignity being the top issue, and of course a considerable amount of money which enabled me to write my book and launch my national office – WARN.

In conclusion, does settling always make sense? No. Sometimes the offered settlement is meant to add insult to injury. That, too, is a fact of real life dealing with management gangs and bullies.

To be perfectly clear, am I “advising” you to settle your claim? No. I offer advice only to my clients. See your attorney for advice on this matter.

I am merely saying it has been my observation that many people are led astray by Hollywood and media accounts of trial drama. If I have any advice to give you, it is simply this – be sensible and prudent in making these decisions. Define for yourself what victory means and looks like for you.

Fight the good and intelligent fight. And as always, dear comrades, stay noble.

EEO Illusion

In my book, The Whistleblower: Defeating Bullies, Harassers & Management Gang Retaliation, I devote an entire section espousing my views on the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) labyrinth. In short, I contend that the EEO process is primarily just an illusion. 

A controversial stance? Of course! Yet I have never been known to shy away from controversy.

Some who work within the EEO field will be inclined to throw rotten tomatoes at me because of my comments. Some lawyers who have made a nice, profitable business off of EEO cases will want to stone me in the middle of town square. They will fear the possibility of losing potential EEO clients as a result of what I have to say here. 

Nevertheless, I welcome the harsh criticisms to come if it possibly means that I have struck a nerve, such that people are moved to re-examine the EEO process in efforts to improve upon it. One has to disrupt the soil in order for the seeds to grow.

Before sharing my views on the EEO system, allow me to assert that the following are my views only, which of course I am entitled to hold and to share with you. I do not herein offer any advice as to whether or not to engage the EEO process, or how to navigate the EEO terrain should you elect to go that route. 

In the final analysis, should you ever find yourself at the EEO crossroads, you should always do your own research. Be resourceful, and make your own determinations as to what help you need and how best to address your unique circumstances.  

With that introductory caveat aside, I do not waffle as to my position. I shall state forthrightly that I am not a proponent of the EEO system, for several reasons.

First of all, I think it is a very lengthy, convoluted process that seems to contain so many twists and turns that ultimately do not end up anywhere useful. Secondly, in order to prevail on a typical EEO complaint, for the most part one has to meet a standard that often proves extremely difficult if not downright impossible, especially in contemporary times. 

I am referring to the “because of” standard. That is, the complainant normally has to show that because of his/her legally protected status, e.g., race, age, gender, disability, etc., the employer engaged in unlawful discriminatory conduct. In modern times, managers are not likely to be so dense as to overtly discriminate against employees. They have found more clever ways to discriminate without handing the employee complainant an easy EEO victory. 

That is why, according to numerous sources, statistically nowadays it is not very common to prevail in EEO cases. Management gangs are well aware of this fact, and are therefore not particularly afraid of an EEO complaint. 

Mind you, this is not to say that managers across the country are not capable of demonstrating such idiocy, and indeed some EEO cases are quite winnable. But again, I do not think victory is the norm in such actions. 

Therefore, one is left with a situation where one knows in her heart that she is being subjected to unlawful discrimination at work, yet feels she cannot meet the “because of” standard. Management gangs are savvy enough to circumvent the EEO system by finding a token employee who will say: “I am [fill in the blank] and management has always treated me wonderfully.” 

Out goes the “because of” allegation.

Furthermore, I am not an advocate of the EEO process because of the strong network within the EEO community. I successfully filed a whistleblower retaliation and harassment action against, in part, the Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL), at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Headquarters (DHS). Some of the very officials named in my action had worked in the EEO field throughout their professional career, making many friends who would go to bat for them. 

In fact, the DC Headquarters for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the very agency that adjudicates EEO matters, was located in the same building where I suffered daily retaliation, bullying and harassment by “EEO, civil rights, diversity and inclusion” officials. Imagine how many lunches and social get togethers were shared between EEOC officials and DHS EEO management gang bullies who were just an elevator ride away. Imagine the comradery established over the years.

Lastly, I have witnessed just how political most (though hopefully not all) EEO offices are. EEO managers at the upper echelon are hired by management – often personal friends who skirt the HR merit process to bring on their pals. 

Most EEO complaints are filed against management. Well, you figure it out. Where do you think the typical EEO manager’s loyalty is going to be placed? In justice? Or in the pal who literally gave him/her the lucrative position? 

 In fairness, I have had the distinct pleasure of working with EEO staff who possessed some of the brightest minds and caring hearts of any profession I have ever encountered. These individuals truly wanted to do the right thing and promote equal justice. Yet they had bosses, higher ranking EEO officials who had a separate political agenda other than equal justice. 

Now, having stoked the flames of controversy, let me be clear as to what I am saying and, conversely, what I am not saying. I am boldly saying that, for the foregoing reasons, I do not have the highest regard for the EEO process.

However, I am absolutely not saying that the EEO process is incapable of being helpful and can never deliver justice. The process can and has worked for some complainants. 

Like any other program designed to help balance the scales of justice, the EEO system needs work to make it better, more efficient and fair, and more accessible to the many who must rely upon it. The Equal Employment Opportunity system is not yet “equal.”

Equality under the EEO system is but a mere illusion. 

 

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Attorney Shenandoah Titus is the author of The Whistleblower: Defeating Bullies, Harassers & Management Gang Retaliation (available on Amazon). He is the Founder and CEO of WARN (Whistleblower Anti-Bullying Resource Network). 

For more information, visit:  www.warn-honor.com

The HR Myth

First and foremost, Happy New Year to all! I wish you peace, good health and joy in 2020.

In my book, The Whistleblower: Defeating Bullies, Harassers & Management Gang Retaliation (available on Amazon), I speak rather forthrightly about the realities of the Human Resources (HR) system. To cut to the chase, I contend that most – though thankfully not all – HR offices in the public and private sector are nothing more than pawns of the management gang. 

After my book was published, I braced myself for a wave of pushback from the HR community. I anticipated an avalanche of angry rants: 

“How dare you say such a thing about the HR community! We are dedicated to protecting employee rights and ensuring that bullying, harassment and retaliation do not occur in the workplace! You should be ashamed of yourself, Mr. Titus!”

To my utter surprise, I have actually received just the opposite feedback from HR professionals. Rather than scorn, I received praise for my stance on HR:

“Attorney Titus, you are a blessing! Thank you for boldly speaking the truth.” 

One individual lamented:

“I have always wanted to be a Human Resources professional. I thought I could help a lot of people in that capacity. Instead, what I have found is that office politics rule the day. If an executive wants a particular person hired for a good job – usually his/her friend or due to a favor owed – HR will make it happen whether that person is actually qualified for the job or not. It’s just a matter of posting the job announcement in a way that fits the friend’s background.

Oh, and forget about harassment and bullying complaints. If it’s brought against a favored manager, we (HR) might conduct a pseudo investigation just to put it on the books that the agency “takes these matters seriously.” But unless there’s a smoking gun in terms of evidence, the complaint will almost always be “unfounded.” 

And then I pity the poor soul who brought the complaint against the manager. HR will help management find ways of “dealing with” that “troublesome” employee. That sort of gamesmanship and ugly politics was not why I went into HR work. It made me feel very ashamed.”

I have heard from HR professionals who, having tried to do the right thing in these situations, found themselves out of a job due to “poor performance,” notwithstanding the fact that prior to their principled stance, they were considered “high achievers” and held a spotless record. For such noble souls, I always felt the worse because they represented all the good that Human Resources is supposed to stand for.

Throughout my professional experience as a public servant and executive over 22 years, I have witnessed much corruption in the HR system. Where I formerly worked as the first-ever Anti-Harassment Program Manager, U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Headquarters, one of the adverse parties in my successful legal action was, get this, the Office of the Chief Human Capital Officer!

Can you imagine the sad irony of that? The Anti-Harassment Program Manager takes legal action against, essentially, the personnel office for harassment, bullying and retaliation! Being a pretty decent lawyer, I prevailed in the action and reached an honorable settlement. 

Yet it is most sad, indeed pathetic, that such an action was necessary in the first place against the very office established to protect the integrity of the workplace. Yet that is what happens in the real world when power goes unchecked, and accountability is nonexistent.

HR equality is a myth. Most HR offices in the public and private sector are arms of the management gang. I stand by my assertions.

Yet this does not mean that all HR professionals are corrupt and devoid of principles. On the contrary, I truly believe that most people enter the HR field with good and noble intentions to help people, and to do the right thing. 

Yet somewhere along the way, the weak and faint of heart surrender their values to the system – to peer pressure and politics. They are rewarded with salary increases and bigger titles. Yet they become hollow shells, having abandoned their original sense of purpose. 

The valiant HR professionals continue to do what they can to help people, with what little authority they have left. They often become the targets of the management gang – bullied, harassed, retaliated against. 

Their so-called friends at work have long since abandoned them, out of cowardice and preservation of their comfortable suburban lifestyles. The noble souls often feel alone.

If there is a central theme to my book, it is just that – You are not Alone. You Deserve Better.

I firmly believe we can work together to make things better. What do you believe?

 

Attorney Shenandoah Titus is the Founder and CEO of WARN (Whistleblower Anti-Bullying Resource Network). To learn more, visit: 

www.warn-honor.com

Daily Progress Commentary

From The Daily Progress – Charlottesville, Virginia 

With the current national — indeed international — media frenzy surrounding the White House and apparent whistleblowers, I will try to shed a little light on the whistleblower concept while delicately avoiding political landmines.

What are my qualifications to speak to this issue? I am a whistleblower myself. I formerly served as the first program manager for the Anti-Harassment Unit at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security headquarters in Washington.

I then was asked (cajoled, really) to engage in conduct that I found to be inconsistent with both my oath as a public servant and my personal honor. I vehemently refused management’s request, and I subsequently reported the matter to Congress.

Like many whistleblowers in the public and private sectors, I suffered fierce retaliation, bullying and harassment.

Yet unlike many whistleblowers, I fought back legally and prevailed to my full satisfaction. I subsequently authored a book sharing my experience as a whistleblower and rendered insights on how one might combat workplace bullying, harassment and retaliation — whether or not one is a whistleblower in the conventional sense.

Despite public rhetoric in some circles branding a whistleblower as a “traitor” or “spy,” whistleblowers do not deserve such nefarious labels. Indeed, whistleblowers are a unique breed of honorable men and women who value service above self, and whose staunch commitment to serving the public good often places them at risk of losing their employment, health and even families. The whistleblower will certainly lose his or her “friends,” as people run and hide in fear rather than stand by the person they once called friend.

Nevertheless, the whistleblower stands tall because he or she feels compelled to do the right thing. This is not at all a new concept. Honoring and providing protection for whistleblowers has a long history in the U.S.

The true whistleblower — as opposed to someone whose sole agenda is to cause public embarrassment to another — is the noblest of souls. Think about it this way: As a hardworking taxpayer, would you want to see your tax dollars subjected to fraud, waste or abuse at the sole discretion of public officials who have no fear of accountability?

In the private sector, would you want your loved one to drive away from a garage with shoddy brakes because the company placed profit over safety, with no fear of accountability? Would you want a pharmaceutical company to issue a loved one unsafe drugs, having bribed health inspectors to write fraudulent reports with no fear of accountability?

And what of your children? It is a sad fact that institutions designed to educate or provide spiritual guidance have harbored officials who would prey on innocent children. Among the fearful and silent adults, who would hold the child molesters accountable for their crimes?

Enter the whistleblower. This is the man or woman whom fraudsters fear will keep them accountable to the public. To the people. To the rule of law.

And so, as you wade through the political tsunami these days surrounding a possible whistleblower, there will of course be those who will vilify whistleblowers and, conversely, those who will elevate whistleblowers to sainthood. In the existing political climate, whether the whistleblower is feared or revered may very well come down to one’s political agenda.

In truth, the legitimate whistleblower is neither a saint nor a villain. This is simply a man or a woman who, notwithstanding inherent human flaws, believes in doing what is right for the common good.

It’s not about politics — liberal or conservative. It’s about honor and courage — hopefully not obsolete principles.

References:

Understanding the Whistleblower

With the current national – indeed international – media frenzy surrounding the White House and an apparent whistleblower, I will try to shed a little light on the whistleblower concept while delicately avoiding political landmines. As to the torrential downpour of news flowing out of Washington, DC, I offer no comment. I leave that drama to the political pundits. 

First, what are my qualifications to speak to this issue? Succinctly, I am a whistleblower myself. I formerly served as the first-ever Program Manager for the Anti-Harassment Unit, United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Headquarters, Washington, DC. 

I was “asked” (cajoled really) to engage in conduct that I found to be both inconsistent with my oath as a public servant and my personal honor. I vehemently refused management’s request, and I subsequently reported the matter to Congress. Like all whistleblowers in the public and private sector, I suffered fierce retaliation, bullying and harassment from DHS management. 

Yet unlike many whistleblowers, I fought back legally and prevailed to my full satisfaction. I subsequently authored a book sharing my experience as a whistleblower and rendered insights on how one might combat workplace bullying, harassment and retaliation – whether or not one is a whistleblower in the conventional sense.

Shenandoah Titus Whistleblower BookDespite public rhetoric in some circles branding a whistleblower as a “traitor” or “spy,” whistleblowers do not deserve such nefarious labels. Indeed, as I note in my book, whistleblowers are a unique breed of honorable men and women who value service above self, and whose staunch commitment to serving the public good often places them at risk of losing their employment, health, and even families when they have been abandoned. The whistleblower will certainly lose his/her “friends,” as people run and hide in fear rather than stand by their previously proclaimed friend.

Nevertheless, the whistleblower stands tall because he or she feels compelled to do the right thing. Note that, despite the current avalanche of media attention on the whistleblower, this is not at all a new concept. Honoring and providing protection for whistleblowers began in the U.S. in 1777! Yes, long before CNN and others enlightened the world that such a term exists.

The true whistleblower, as opposed to someone whose sole agenda is to cause public embarrassment to another, is the noblest of souls. Think about it this way, as a hardworking taxpayer, would you want to see your tax dollars subjected to fraud, waste or abuse at the sole discretion of public officials who have no fear of accountability? 

In the private sector, would you want your loved one to drive away from a garage with shoddy brakes because the company placed profit over safety, with no fear of accountability? Would you want a pharmaceutical company to issue a loved one unsafe drugs, having bribed health inspectors to write fraudulent reports with no fear of accountability?

And what of your children? It is a sad fact that institutions designed to educate and provide spiritual guidance, respectively, have harbored officials who would prey on innocent children. Among the fearful and silent adults, who would hold the child molesters accountable for their crimes?    

Enter the whistleblower. This is the man or woman whom fraudsters fear will keep them accountable to the public. To the people. To the rule of law. 

And so, as you wade through the political tsunami these days surrounding a prospective whistleblower, there will of course be those who will vilify whistleblowers and, conversely, those who will elevate whistleblowers to sainthood. In the existing political climate, whether the whistleblower is feared or revered may very well come down to one’s political agenda.

In truth, the legitimate whistleblower is neither a saint nor a villain. This is simply a man or a woman who, notwithstanding inherent human flaws, believes in doing what is right for the common good. 

It’s not about politics – liberal or conservative. It’s about honor and courage – hopefully not obsolete principles.

Attorney Shenandoah Titus is author of THE WHISTLEBLOWER: Defeating Bullies, Harassers & Management Gang Retaliation (available on Amazon). He is the Chief Executive Officer of WARN (Whistleblower Anti-Bullying Resource Network). Visit www.warn-honor.com for more information.

Bullying In The Homeland

“Vanity asks the question, ‘Is it popular?’ Cowardice asks the question, ‘Is it safe?’ But conscience asks the question, ‘Is it right?

And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular. But one must take it because one’s conscience tells one that it is right.”

–         Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

I recall feeling somewhat bewildered when I first read the phrase in a national newspaper – “Homeland Insecurity.” My initial reaction was that this was a poor attempt at sarcasm. Unfortunately, I later came to see the truth behind the play on words.

For several years, I served as the first-ever Program Manager for the Anti-Harassment Unit at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Headquarters. When I took the oath in August 2012 to serve DHS and the American people with honor and integrity, it was perhaps the proudest day of my professional career. Regrettably, I soon discovered that not everyone within DHS management took the oath quite as solemnly as I had.

It is no secret that Washington, DC is a political town, and I mean that mostly in the pejorative sense. Yet I suppose I came to DHS somewhat naïve, as I fully expected to see nothing but the strongest, unfettered commitment to every employee’s basic human right to work within an environment free of harassment, bullying, and management retaliation.

I fully anticipated that enforcement of anti-harassment laws and policies would occur without fear or favor, and without regard to one’s rank, title, privilege or status. In other words, without regard to politics.

Alas, I was wrong.

It did not take long before I would acquire a new title at DHS Headquarters – Whistleblower. Asked repeatedly and cajoled by senior management at that time to communicate what amounted to a falsehood to Congress, I vehemently refused. I would not compromise my personal honor in order to protect the Department’s public relations image.

Knowing that there would be a heavy price to pay for my steadfastness, I nevertheless did not alter my ethical course. Having been a public servant in municipal, state and federal government for over 21 years, serving as the Human Rights Director of two municipalities and a police executive in Boston – upholding the public trust had always been my mantra and moral compass.

My anticipation of management retaliation was not overestimated. The acts of demoralization were brutal and fierce. Yet my resolve to remain true to my calling as a public servant was unyielding. Having risen above my ghetto upbringing to become an alum of Cornell, Harvard, earn my law license in the nation’s capital – I can teach a course on resilience.

In efforts to protect my health, I left the agency – but I did not leave the fight. On April 13, 2018, I tendered my resignation from DHS – effective immediately. On July 27, 2018, with great satisfaction I settled my whistleblower retaliation case, which read in relevant part:

United States Merit Systems Protection Board

Shenandoah Titus vs. United States Department of Homeland Security

Talking about the proverbial David vs. Goliath!

Yet the Biblically astute knows that the story ended well for David, despite the overwhelming odds. As it did for me.

I successfully obtained each of my goals! The award amount was substantial and meaningful. I do not disclose the settlement award amount because money was never my motivating factor in taking legal action against DHS.

Nevertheless, my settlement victory was poetic justice. Part of the funds acquired from my settlement award were used to author a book, and to establish a national office designed to advocate for whistleblowers and help eradicate workplace bullying and retaliation.

Reflecting on my wretched journey of managerial abuse at DHS, I feel a profound sense of sorrow. As a matter of public record, one of the principle offices responsible for the abuse I suffered happened to be, of all entities – the DHS Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties – the very office charged with protecting civil rights.

Each morning as I approached the elevator leading to my floor, in the background stood a picture of Martin Luther King, Jr., beaming with pride as President Johnson signed the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The stark contrast between what Dr. King and others fought and died for, versus the abuse I would endure daily from those who were supposed to be custodians of civil rights, wore heavily upon my heart.

It still does.

Although no longer a DHS official, I shall forever treasure the opportunity I enjoyed to serve our nation. It was indeed an honor to help protect the homeland.

Yet now, upon reflection, I fully understand the media phrase “Homeland Insecurity.” And that is a sad commentary.

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Attorney Shenandoah Titus is a member of the District of Columbia (DC) Court of Appeals Bar and he is a Certified Fraud Examiner®.

He is the author of The Whistleblower: Defeating Bullies, Harassers & Management Gang Retaliation (available on Amazon) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07N98RFTG

He is the Founder and CEO of WARN (Whistleblower Anti-Bullying Resource Network). Visit him at www.warn-honor.com for more information.