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Federal subcontractors now have whistleblower protections

A general consensus exists that society should encourage people to speak up when they see others breaking the law. As such, lawmakers have passed various pieces of legislation protecting those who act as whistleblowers on others' wrongdoings. The 2013 Defense Authorization Act went into effect on July 1, 2013, and as part of the DAA, Congress extended legal protections for whistleblowers that already exist for federal employees to those who work for Department of Defense as subcontractors.

The law specifically states that it is applicable for employees working on both new and modified DoD contracts, as well as grants and task orders. The law also broadened the types of people to whom an employee can report wrongdoing and have it be a protected disclosure. Prior to the law change, employees needed to give information to a government official or entity. Now employees may report the wrongdoing to their managers and still have it fall under the whistleblower protection laws.

Whistleblowers play an important part in maintaining the integrity of the government. Employees in federal agencies are in the best positions to know what is really going on. It is important that the law provide as much protection as possible for them when they have the courage to speak up when they see things that are illegal. Employees should not have to fear that they will suffer retaliation for reporting wrongdoing. The new law extending whistleblower protections to DoD subcontractor employees is a step in the right direction toward making sure that everyone who works for the government can disclose illegal actions with no backlash.  

Source: Federal Times, "New law extends whistleblower protections to subcontractors," Marcus Weisgerber, July 1, 2013 

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