Congress Approves Whistleblower Protection Bill


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The Senate on Tuesday approved the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act, which provides new protections for federal employees who report waste, fraud and abuse in government operations.


The legislation, which passed the House in September, is expected to be signed into law by President Obama.


According to the Government Accountability Project’s Food Integrity Campaign, types of whistleblower actions that the law would protect include:

  • A public health veterinarian reporting to his/her USDA supervisor that a slaughterhouse repeatedly violated humane handling regulations
  • An FDA inspector who tries to expose falsification of salmonella records at a cantaloupe farm
  • A Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) district office manager reporting frequent complaints by FSIS poultry inspectors that increased line speeds have made it impossible for workers to pull all potentially contaminated birds off the line
  • An FDA researcher whose attempts at publishing new findings on a controversial food ingredient are stifled by upper management


The U. S. Office of Special Counsel, which will enforce the act, said the bill’s reforms give additional tools to protect federal employees from unlawful retaliation. The law will:


  • Overturn legal precedents that narrowed protections for government whistleblowers. 
  • Give whistleblower protections to employees who are not currently covered, including Transportation Security Administration officers.
  •  Restore the Office of Special Counsel’s ability to seek disciplinary actions against supervisors who retaliate.
  • Hold agencies accountable for retaliatory investigations, among other improvements.



Posted by Haylie Shipp



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