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Thursday, 12 October 2017 11:30

House to vote on bill requiring discipline for officials who retaliate against whistleblowers

Written by  Eric Yoder

The White House is pledging to crack down on "leakers," but there are ways to blow the whistle and disclose information lawfully. (Jenny Starrs/The Washington Post)

Federal agencies would be required to discipline officials who retaliate against whistleblowing employees, and to fire them on their second offense, under a bill up for a House vote Thursday.

The bill, approved by the Senate in May, is one of many arising from the disclosures starting in 2014 of falsified patient records at the Department of Veterans Affairs. The revelations drew a surge of complaints from lower-level employees who said they had suffered workplace reprisal from managers for pointing out the problems and that managers were not being held accountable for violating the legal protections for whistleblowers.

“While retaliation at the VA has captured the public’s attention most recently, retaliation against whistleblowers is not confined to any one agency,” a Senate report on the bill says, adding that mandatory discipline is designed to “ensure accountability throughout the Federal Government.”

[Interior Department whistleblower resigns; bipartisan former appointees object to Zinke’s statements]

The bill would require at least a three-day suspension of a federal official found to have committed retaliation by an internal government legal process or by a federal judge and firing for a second offense.

Read more at WashingtonPost

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