Any FCA employee or applicant for an FCA position is protected against negative employment actions taken in retaliation for making protected disclosures.
For information about the rights of FCA employees and job applicants, see FCA’s EEO and Diversity page.
Whistleblower protections are also available to Federal contractors and grantees. For more information about these protections, see 41 USC 4712 (Pilot program for enhancement of contractor protection from reprisal and disclosure of certain information).
The Whistleblower Protection Act provides protection for whistleblowers, and these protections were augmented in 2012 by the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act.
Under these Acts, a Federal agency must not take or fail to take (or threaten to take or to not take) personnel actions against employees or applicants for disclosing information that they reasonably believe shows any of the following:
- A violation of a law, rule or regulation
- Gross mismanagement
- Gross waste of funds
- An abuse of authority
- A substantial and specific danger to public health or safety
What can you do if you believe whistleblower retaliation has occurred?
The U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) has jurisdiction over allegations of whistleblower retaliation made by FCA employees. To file a complaint, follow these steps:
- Go to the Form OSC-11: Complaint of Prohibited Personnel Practice or Other Prohibited Activity on the OSC website.
- Read the instructions carefully and complete the form.
- You may submit the completed form by mail to the following address:
Complaints Examining Unit
Office of Special Counsel
1730 M Street, N.W. (Suite 218)
Washington, DC 20036-4505
Or you may submit the form by fax to (202) 254-3711
Note: You may also complete the form and submit it electronically. To do so, go to the OSC E-Filing System page and follow the instructions there.
How did the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act enhance the protections for whistleblowers?
As a result of the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act, the following statement is incorporated into all FCA nondisclosure policies, forms, or agreements in effect on or after December 27, 2012:
These provisions are consistent with and do not supersede, conflict with, or otherwise alter the employee obligations, rights, or liabilities created by existing statute or Executive order relating to (1) classified information, (2) communications to Congress, (3) the reporting to an Inspector General of a violation of any law, rule, or regulation, or mismanagement, a gross waste of funds, an abuse of authority, or a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety, or (4) any other whistleblower protection. The definitions, requirements, obligations, rights, sanctions, and liabilities created by controlling Executive orders and statutory provisions are incorporated into this agreement and are controlling.
As of February 21, 2014, the “controlling Executive orders and statutory provisions” mentioned in the sentence above include the following:
- Sections 7(c) and 8H of the Inspector General Act of 1978 (5 U.S.C. App.), relating to disclosures to an Inspector General, the Inspectors General of the Intelligence Community, and Congress)
- Executive Order No. 13526 (prescribing a uniform system for classifying, safeguarding, and declassifying national-security information), or any successor to this order
- Section 7211 of title 5, United States Code (governing disclosures to Congress)
- Section 1034 of title 10, United States Code, as amended by the Military Whistleblower Protection Act (governing disclosure to Congress by members of the military)
- Section 2302(b)(8) of title 5, United States Code, as amended by the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 (governing disclosures of illegality, waste, fraud, abuse or public health or safety threats)
- Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982 (50 U.S.C. 421 et seq.) (governing disclosures that could expose confidential Government agents)
- Statutes that protect against disclosures that may compromise national security, including sections 641, 793, 794, 798, and 952 of title 18, United States Code, and section 4(b) of the Subversive Activities Control Act of 1950 (50 U.S.C. 783(b))
- Section 4712 of title 41, United States Code, as amended (providing enhanced protection against reprisal for whistleblower disclosures by employees of Federal contractors or grantees; pilot program scheduled to end 2017)
Page posted: March 4, 2014