Connor Sheets of the International Business Times reports:
A group of employees at Cincinnati’s beleaguered Internal Revenue Service field office used IRS computers and email accounts to exchange dozens of emails during the months leading up to the 2008 presidential election among a group of friends and colleagues dubbed the “Neanderthals,” discussing national politics in a manner that two employment lawyers say likely violated federal law.
And certain decisions about who to promote within the office were decided in part based on considerations of employees’ political leanings, according to a longtime Cincinnati IRS field-office employee who declined to be identified but provided the internal emails to International Business Times.
The revelations about the Employee Plans Office emails, the content of which was decidedly pro-conservative and anti-Democrat, add another chapter to the tale of a Cincinnati IRS operation gripped by political tension.
The longtime IRS Cincinnati office employee who provided the emails to International Business Times said that a manager there who was a member of the Neanderthals — who, as [Neaderthal member Frank] Bitzer said, share “similar views” — often promoted fellow Neanderthals over nonmembers.
It’s apples and oranges compared to the earlier news out of the Cincinnati office, certainly — which sounds like it’s a rather mundane, dysfunctional place. But the alleged practice of promoting based on political views would be inappropriate at almost every workplace. The Cincinnati office of the IRS just happens to be about the worst place for it at the moment, that we know of.