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Should we pass a national Whistleblower Protection Act?

An organization that helps whistleblowers has set up a petition to encourage Congress to pass a law that would protect all whistleblowers throughout the nation. Of special interest is the whistleblowing protection for federal employees.

In 2006, the Supreme Court ruled that federal employees were not entitled to the protection that other workers in the United States had available to them. For federal workers, U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) uses attorney examiners, instead an administrative law judges, and those examiners dismiss the vast majority of cases.

The impact of this case could be reduced if Congress would pass legislation that would ensure protection for all workers. A bill has been introduced regularly during the last 10 years, but it has failed to pass every time.

Whistleblowing employees perform an important service to the citizens of this country. They are in the best position to know when something is not right within their agency. From fraud and waste, to violations of privacy laws, the employees who are responsible for the day-to-day operation of the agency are the people who will see it first.

By stifling this function, the current laws reduce the likelihood that a federal employee will risk their job or career by attempting to warn of problems within their agency. Whistleblowers are dismissed as "disgruntled," but whistleblowers often place their careers on the line and risk retaliation by coming forward.

We all lose if whistleblowers decide if the risk is too great. Congress should pass whistleblower protection that adequately protects all workers, including federal employees.

Source, "Pass a National Whistleblower Protection Law," National Whistleblowers Center, November 5, 2012

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