To the Editor:
As you may know the City Manager of the city of Miami Beach is requiring all employees to sign a pledge against wrongdoing AND they must agree to report any misdeeds that they may encounter.
This is a wonderful idea but unfortunately it lacks an essential ingredient. I would like to suggest the further action of requiring supervisors and managers to agree, in writing, that they will not retaliate, in any way, against employees making these reports. Keep in mind that retaliation also includes lower evaluations, undesirable work schedules and delayed promotions.
If Miami Beach really wants their loyal and honest employees to come forward they must institute an anti-retaliation policy with REAL protections for whistleblowers. These ordinances exist at the Miami Dade Ethics Commission and I am certain that they could help craft the language.
I can tell you and the citizens from Miami Beach from my own first-hand experience that when I reported fellow Miami Beach employees for soliciting gifts and mishandling fees, that I was ostracized by my fellow workers and scolded by my supervisors.
So, Mr. Manager, Commissioners, and Madam Mayor go beyond the simple rank-and-file pledge. Make it clear to your supervisory staff that sincere and honest reports from the field will be met with serious and prompt attention. Make it clear and prohibited that genuine concerns are not returned with the fear of losing one’s job and pension.
Fail to take these steps and you may expect to fail entirely.
Please withhold my name from publication until such time that all Miami Beach employees are properly protected against intimidation and retaliation.