Homeland Security Spent $1.8 Million to Have 88 Employees Stay at Home while being Investigated

Monday, October 26, 2015
DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson

Being accused of misconduct at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) can mean staying home for a year or more and still getting paid.


At least 88 DHS workers have been on administrative leave pending resolution of claims against them, during which the agency paid out $1.8 million in salaries, according the office of Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa). Four workers had been on leave for three years or more with another 17 on leave for two years or more, according to The Washington Post.


The 88 were placed on leave for a variety of reasons. Fifty-three were accused of misconduct, 13 had security clearance issues, and 22 may not have been fit for duty.

Grassley is now seeking answers from Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, whose department’s previous explanation for extended leave cases was deemed “too broad and vague to assess whether other actions might have been more appropriate,” as far as Grassley was concerned.


Employees on leave not only collect paychecks, but also build pensions, vacation and sick days and move up the federal pay scale, according to the Post.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Almost 100 Homeland Security Employees Have Been Paid to Stay Home for Over a Year (by Lisa Rein, Washington Post)

260 Homeland Security Employees Convicted of Crimes in 2011 (by Noel Brinkerhoff and David Wallechinsky, AllGov)


harley 8 years ago
I understand putting employees on paid leave while being investigated for wrongdoing or fitness. However, based on decades as a senior manager who dealt with personnel issues, I truly don't understand how the Homeland Security can keep so many (really, any) employees on paid leave for periods of 2 to 3 yrs. A few weeks to months is normal for most employment investigations, and even given a little longer because of the nature of Homeland Security (the need to be absolutely sure someone is okay or not because of the stakes of the job), this is unacceptable. Besides being a waste of taxpayer monies, it's a waste of manpower for those employees that an investigation would have cleared of wrongdoing. I'm not Grassley supporter, but he's absolutely right in demanding a good explanation for these excessive paid leaves, and hopefully Homeland Security will move off the dime and either fire or reinstate these employees pronto, and set up a system that ensures investigations of employees happen quickly.

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