The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) has filed a class action complaint with a demand for jury trial against the Office of Personnel Management, Director Katherine Archuleta and Chief Information Officer Donna Seymour about one of the most devastating cyberattacks in U.S. history that resulted in potentially 18 million current and former federal employees’ personal and security files being compromised.
The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. AFGE and two individuals, Robert Crawford and Adam Dale, are represented by a legal team led by Girard Gibbs LLP, a national litigation firm representing plaintiffs in class and collective actions in state and federal courts, and in arbitration matters worldwide. Girard Gibbs LLP has vast experience with cases involving cybersecurity attacks and data breaches.
In a joint statement, AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr., National Secretary-Treasurer Eugene Hudson Jr., and National Vice President for Women and Fair Practices Augusta Y. Thomas said:
“AFGE will not sit idly by while OPM fails to comply with the most basic requests for information or provide an adequate response. Even after this historic security breach, OPM has continued to use poor data security practices and inferior private-sector strategies to solve its security woes.
“Since 2007, officials at OPM have been alerted to their lackluster data security policies and protocols and failed to take appropriate steps to safeguard the information. Although they were forewarned about the potential catastrophe that government employees faced, OPM’s data security got worse rather than better.
“Despite putting government employees and their loved ones at significant personal and financial risk, OPM has failed to reveal the full scope of who was specifically impacted by the data breach and the extent of the information taken. Additionally, the credit monitoring services that OPM provided have not only fallen short, but actually created more potential security risks for employees.
“AFGE is working with its members to ascertain the breadth of the breach and obtain feedback on OPM’s response. Since the agency is unwilling to provide adequate assistance, AFGE is taking unprecedented steps to gather more information for our members and hold the agency accountable.”