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Attorney Debra D'Agostino Pens TSA Management Criticism

Written by: Federal Practice Group
Written by: Federal Practice Group

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Guest Blog

Attorney Debra D'Agostino has penned a new article for Federal News Radio detailing the tangled history of Transportation Security Administration and how deserved employment benefits have remained elusive for TSA employees. The piece addresses the congressional scrutiny the agency has been placed under lately alleging misconduct from TSA management.

As Attorney D'Agostino details, the TSA was created by Aviation and Transportation Security Act of 2001 (ATSA) as part of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Under the ATSA, TSA screeners had access to the same benefits that FAA employees did—as modified by TSA administrators. Even after the TSA was shuffled into the Homeland Security Department in 2013, TSA administrators had control over the extent of TSA employee benefits.

Additionally, a provision in ATSA excluded TSA screeners from certain entitlements FAA employees receive—including the ability to appeal adverse actions to the Merit Systems Protection Board. A series of court cases have since been decided that limit TSA screener overtime pay, allow for hiring discrimination, and inhibit a TSA employee's ability to challenge an adverse action.

Attorney D'Agostino believes that these reasons explain the high turnover rate for TSA screeners: more than 100 screeners quit every week. As House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz pointed out in a recent hearing: "They really don’t like working there. That’s a management problem there."

To read Attorney D'Agostino's full piece "You wouldn’t want to be a TSA security screener either," visit the Federal News Radio site.

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