The average rate for a Federal employment law attorney is in excess of $450/hour. Double that if you have a case in front of the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB). Disciplinary proceedings can result in attorney fees in excess of $50,000. The annual cost of CareerGuard® Professional Liability Insurance is less than the average hourly rate. Is your career worth the risk of not having legal defense protection? Investigations can come from your local agency administration, OIG, OPR, IA, Federal Labor Relations Authority, US Attorneys’ Office, Office of Special Counsel, or even Congress. Any one of these investigations can turn into a financial crisis for a Federal employee that is not prepared and not protected with CareerGuard®. An anonymous complaint can lead to a full scale investigation. No matter your position, title, or agency, no employee is immune to an investigation or disciplinary action. Facts and circumstances make each case different. No two disciplinary actions have the same legal defense cost. No two EEO complaint investigations will have the same legal defense cost. Circumstances of an investigation or complaint could even lead to criminal charges. Just having the minimum coverage through CareerGuard® will give you the peace of mind that you are protected in case the “what if” happens to you.
You go to work every day and do your job as expected. You do your due diligence to make sure you complied with all guidelines set forth by the powers that be. However, we are all human and as such mistakes can happen. An innocent mistake can lead to disciplinary action or even termination of employment. Circumstances of a casual conversation with a colleague could be misinterpreted and thus a complaint is made whether by the colleague or someone who overheard your conversation. Do you have a disgruntled or jealous co-worker? Frivolous complaints that have no bearing are made against employees every day. Even though the complaint may be frivolous, it must be investigated. Mistakes and errors are made all the time. At anytime in your career, you may have to answer for your actions. No employee is immune to making a mistake or doing what they thought was right. All agencies have rules of conduct, policies and procedures to follow, ethical principles in force, etc. It doesn’t matter where you fall in the chain of command. You could be a Director, FBI Agent, Program Analyst, Secretary, Law Judge, etc., PLI is for ALL Federal employees. No matter your title, there is always someone you have to answer to. Having CareerGuard® is preparation on your part.
With CareerGuard® you get legal defense protection for civil lawsuits, criminal complaints, and administrative disciplinary actions. CareerGuard® is an all inclusive policy and does not have up-charges or add-ons to their policy. No matter your position or title, agency or department, the CareerGuard® policy has you covered. CareerGuard® also protects qualified law enforcement officers (LEO’s) as defined by the LEOSA Safety Act of 2004 for off-duty incidents. This additional protection for LEO’s is included in CareerGuard® and is not an additional endorsement or rider of the policy. Within your position, do you have contact with the public? Do you interact with people outside of your agency with scope to your employment? Do you manage personnel? This list is not exclusive but if you answered yes to any of these, then you are in a position where your exposure risk for a civil lawsuit being filed against you is much higher than others. Does your position give you exposure to a Bivens complaint? The Department of Justice at its discretion can choose whether or not to defend you. The priority of the Department of Justice is to defend the United States first. The Federal Government is not obligated to pay any judgments on your behalf. Having civil liability protection through CareerGuard® protects your personal assets up to $2,000,000. CareerGuard® also provides legal defense for alleged criminal misconduct or complaints of its policyholders with scope to their employment. Administrative investigations, depending on the nature or allegation, have potential to turn into a criminal complaint and this added protection within CareerGuard® should not be overlooked. Other PLI carriers offer criminal defense as an added endorsement and some have limited coverage amounts. An Administrative/Disciplinary action is likely to occur at least once within an employee’s career. A disciplinary action or complaint can be very minor as a Letter of Warning or Reprimand, a suspension, or complete termination of employment. CareerGuard® provides protection for these events as well as security clearance revocation, complaints of hostile work environment, discrimination/EEO complaints, Weingarten, etc. where you are the accused party and need to defend yourself. CareerGuard® does not take on the position of offense in filing of a complaint or affirmative action. With so many different types of exposure risks that all federal employees are subjected through their career, not having legal defense protection from CareerGuard® would be the worst Act, Error, or Omission for an employee.
CareerGuard® clients receive representation from the Law Firm of Avery, Dooley, & Noone LLP. Peter H. Noone is a Partner at Avery Dooley & Noone, LLP and has been representing CareerGuard® clients since 1997. Mr. Noone and his team of associate attorney’s have seen and represented every type of Federal employment law case. Our clients consist of every position within the Federal Government and each of these positions has received representation from Mr. Noone’s office. Mr. Noone has represented his clients throughout administrative and criminal investigations, Merit System Protection Board appeals, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and trials in the U.S. District Court and Federal Appeals Court. Mr. Noone has prepared clients for witness testimonies, interviews in front of the Department of Justice, Office of Inspector General and the Office of Professional Responsibility and defended his clients during United States Attorney Investigations. Mr. Noone and his team have assisted clients in successfully defending disciplinary actions, ranging from letters of reprimand to removal. The old saying goes, “it’s not what you know, but who you know”. And for many CareerGuard® clients that have needed legal defense protection, all have given praise to the expert and professional representation they received from Mr. Noone and his legal team. Many clients come to CareerGuard® from other PLI carriers because of successful defenses received and the communication that Mr. Noone provides our clients. There is no better advertising a business can receive than a “word of mouth” recommendation or referral by a colleague that has had firsthand experience with CareerGuard®, Mr. Noone and his team.
CareerGuard® is an insurance product offered and administered by Mass Benefits Consultants Inc. and is underwritten by an American insurance company, Berkley Assurance Company with an A+ Superior A.M. Best Rating. Mass Benefits has been in business since 1971 offering a variety of insurance products to Federal employees and associations. All clients of Mass Benefits and CareerGuard® receive one-on-one communication and professionalism. Timeliness of inquiries and claims is the first priority for our clients. Whether communication with clients is by phone, email, or fax feedback from clients consists of rave reviews for courteous, efficient, and knowledgeable staff. We strive to be above all competition, to have and maintain the best customer service possible.