Kimberly Young-McLear, Coast Guard, Whistleblower
Kimberly Young-McLear spoke out about harassment and bullying at the U.S. Coast Guard academy. The National Whistleblowers Center will be honoring her for reporting — and facing retaliation for reporting — a hostile work environment. (Photo: Lauren Laughlin)

Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Kimberly Young-McLear to Receive Whistleblowers Award

The National Whistleblowers Center will recognize Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Kimberly Young-McLear, who spent years reporting — and facing retaliation for reporting — discriminatory and abusive behavior by her superiors.

Young Mc-Lear, who is Black and lesbian, had not previously spoken publicly about her story, which includes years of abuse at the military academy. She said her superiors would belittle, scapegoat and undermine her. She attempted to report the mistreatment but said the complaint process failed her. In 2018, a Department of Homeland Security inspector general report found the Coast Guard mishandled the complaints process and gave Young-McLear low marks on an evaluation performance report after she made the complaints. 

Stories like hers are evidently not unique. She is just one of 50 people who are receiving the honor.

Young-McLear also spoke to Military.com on behalf of those who can no longer speak for themselves after harassment and hazing led them to suicide.

“I want to use this public opportunity to affirm the dignity of victims and their families while still advocating for honest, efficient and accountable workplace environments in the military,” she said.

She referenced the cases of Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Harry Lew and Army Pvt. Danny Chen, who both died by suicide after hazing incidents. 

Following Young-McLear’s reports, another member of the Coast Guard academy — a white woman — made a complaint after enduring mandatory bullying and hazing training at the hands of the department head in 2018.

The academy removed the department head several months after.

Young-McLear became a member of the permanent commissioned teaching staff at her academy in 2014. She filed several complaints against her boss, a white man, for harassment and a hostile work environment, regarding, in part, her race, gender and sexual orientation. At first, two Coast Guard admirals who were handling the investigation said her complaints were unsubstantiated. However, the investigator found that though there may not have been blatant acts of discrimination or bullying, the overall workplace environment could reasonably be considered intimidating, hostile and abusive. 

Following the inspector general report, members of Congress asked the Coast Guard to turn over documents regarding to the handling of these types of complaints.

Capt. Tony Russell, Chief of the Coast Guard’s Office of Public Affairs, told Military.com that the Coast Guard had taken action in response to the inspector general report, including revising their civil rights manual to clarify complaints regarding Coast Guard retaliation for whistleblowers should be filed with the inspector general.

Coast Guard members are required to undergo workplace harassment training but does not cover workplace bullying.

National Whistleblower Appreciation Day is July 30, the anniversary of when the Founding Fathers, in 1778, passed the country’s first whistleblower law, which states “it is the duty of all persons in the service of the United States, as well as all other inhabitants thereof” to report misconduct by those in service. 

Latest News

Sanofi and GSK will Provide up to 300 Million doses of COVID-19 vaccine to the European Union

Originally published on sanofi.com. Sanofi and GSK will provide up to 300 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine to the European Union Agreement signed today supports scale-up of manufacturing capabilities in several European countries Vaccine candidate uses Sanofi’s recombinant protein-based technology combined with GSK’s pandemic adjuvant system Sanofi and GSK finalized…

ICE, whistleblower hysterectomies, COVID

ICE Whistleblower Alleges Unnamed Doctor Performing Hysterectomies, Denying COVID Tests to Detainees

At Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainment centers, undocumented detainees are being subjected to “questionable” hysterectomies and are being denied COVID tests, according to a whistleblower. Dawn Wooten, a nurse who worked at the Irwin County Detention Center in Ocilla, GA recently filed a whistleblower complaint alleging medical neglect. A…

nielsen

Launching Nielsen Compass: A World-Leading and Powerful Campaign Outcomes Database

Originally published on nielsen.com. ADVERTISERS, AGENCIES AND PUBLISHERS TO LEVERAGE INSIGHTS FROM WORLD LEADING, OUTCOME MEASUREMENT DATASET TO MAKE DATA-DRIVEN DECISIONS, OPTIMIZE BUDGETS AND PREDICT SALES ROI Nielsen (NYSE: NLSN) today announced that it is launching Nielsen Compass, a powerful, world leading database that leverages the company’s global scale to…

Mastercard Outlines Sustainability Goals

Originally published on mastercardcontentexchange.com. Now is the time to work together to create a better world. If there’s a silver lining to this tumultuous time we’re living through, it’s that the pandemic has shown clearly just how interconnected we all are. The actions of an individual — whether by taking…