What are the details of federal whistleblower protection?

On Behalf of | Jan 8, 2021 | Firm News |

A whistleblower is someone who reports information about an employer’s illegal or unacceptable actions to authorities. The situation could be you reporting safety hazards in the workplace or tipping off authorities to criminal activity of the business.

In any case, as a federal employee, you have protections under the Whistleblower Protection Act, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. In general, you have protection against your employer threatening to or actually doing something to retaliate against you for your actions.

Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act

You also have additional protection under the WPEA, which extends the WPA. It provides you protection in situations where you may not have had protection under the WPA.

For example, under the WPA, there is no explicit protection if you reported something that someone else had already reported. The WPEA provides you with that protection.

It also no longer allows your motive for making a report something that your employer could use against you. The WPEA also makes it easier for you to prove something is retaliation, which makes it much more difficult for an employer to take negative actions against you and try to cover it up as a legal action.

Beyond expanding your rights and protections, the WPEA also creates a Whistleblower Protection Ombudsman. It expands the penalties your employer could face for retaliation tactics, as well.

WPA reporting

You may report something under the WPA or WPEA that falls into certain categories. You have protection when reporting anything that is a danger to the public or a violation of a regulation or law. You also have protection if you report mismanagement or wasting of funds. Also, abuse of authority is something you have the protection to report.