What Protections Do Federal Employees Have as Whistleblowers?
Federal whistleblowers are those who stepped up to report illegal activity or violations of the public trust by their employers like illegal safety practices, fraud, or environmental violations. But, blowing the whistle can be met with resistance or retaliation by some employers. That is why laws have been made to protect whistleblowers from retaliation and to encourage future whistleblowers to speak out when they notice illegal activity within their agencies. Federal employees who want to blow the whistle about their employer should seek a Federal Employee Rights attorney Virginia to ensure their rights are protected. Keep reading to know the protections available for whistleblowers:
The Whistleblower Protection Act
The Whistleblower Protection Act was enacted by Congress in 1989, outlining provisions designed to prevent any individual who shares details about wrongdoing from experiencing a negative backlash. Because of the Act, it is not legal for any entity to take or even to threaten to take action against a whistleblower for their whistleblowing actions. Also, this act protects contractors who work in the federal government or those who get federal grants concerning federal contracts and grants.
The Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act
The original law was added with more protections to address concerns that workers bound by nondisclosure agreements may not be able to offer details about wrongful or illegal acts. The Act wants to protect those who disclosed information relating to abuse, fraud, or waste.
OSH Act of 1970
Federal employees are protected against retaliation for exercising rights guaranteed under the OSHA Act, including filing a safety or health complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), reporting a work-related injury or illness, taking part in an OSHA inspection, or raising a health and safety concern with their employers. Employees who think that their employers retaliated against them due to their engagement in a protected activity must contact a federal employment attorney and OSHA as soon as possible. They need to file any complaint within the legal time limits.
Any federal employee who has knowledge of wrongdoing that must be reported deserves to feel safe to do so. It is important to work with an experienced lawyer who knows how to navigate these matters. Those who have been terminated for calling attention to illegal or embarrassing information at work must file important paperwork to ensure their protection. Their attorney can prepare this paperwork and submit it to the right agency in a timely way.