The Daily Caller has obtained an internal “report of violence in the workplace” notifying top officials at the Environmental Protection Agency about the abusive behavior of a political appointee close to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson.
The report and call for an independent investigation and action highlights the behavior of Stephanie Owens, an EPA deputy associate administrator in the Office of the Administrator’s Office of External Affairs and Environmental Education.
It details a March 14 incident in which Owens, a political appointee, verbally attacked a bargaining unit employee to the point that the union member was afraid to return to her office — for the second time in two weeks.The memo is dated March 15 and was penned by Steve Shapiro, the executive vice-president of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 3331 — the largest bargaining unit at EPA. It goes on to explain that this is just one of many incidents involving Owens that have created a “climate of fear” in the department.
According to the document, while the union has officially complained about Owens’ behavior in the past, she has remained in her position and EPA has not addressed the union’s concerns about her behavior or the “climate of fear.”“Office of the Administrator management has been derelict in meeting its responsibilities…,” the document reads. “[Addressing the ‘climate of fear’] is long overdue. Had Office of the Administrator management done this and had appropriate standards of conduct regarding violence in the workplace and harassment in the workplace been established and enforced within the Office of the Administrator’s Office of External Affairs and Environmental Education, yesterday’s incident might never have occurred. EPA management finally needs to step up to the plate and do the right thing.”
AFGE Local 3331 contends that they have “no confidence in EPA’s Violence in the Workplace program leadership,” explaining that the program only serves the managers rather than the interests of “all EPA employees” since AFGE’s complaints have been dismissed and marginalized.