The Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2012 takes effect today (December 27). The Act makes significant changes to the way federal employees report wrongdoing within the government.
Some of the changes made by the Act include:
- Requires the designation of Whistleblower Protection Ombudsmen in Inspectors General Offices to educate agency personnel about whistleblower rights
- Requires the MSPB to report on the outcomes of whistleblower cases, from the administrative judge through the Board appeal, in its annual reports
- Establishes explicit whistleblower protections for Transportation Security Administration employees
- Clarifies that whistleblowers are protected for challenging the consequences of government policy decisions
- Overturns an unusual Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) practice that allows agencies in some cases to present their defense first and allows the MSPB to rule on the case prior to the whistleblowers’ presenting their evidence of retaliation
According to Tully Rinckey PLLC Partner and Chair of the Labor and Employment Practice John P. Mahoney, “This is a game changer for whistleblowers. It closes many of the loopholes that supervisors exploited so they could retaliate against employees who exposed wrongs. We are now dealing with a much more level playing field.”
Tully Rinckey PLLC has created the following summary scorecard to track who among the federal workforce is likely to gain the most from the Act.
|Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2012
|Researchers and scientists
|Security clearance holders (outside of WPA-excepted agencies)
|Recipients of unfavorable MSPB decisions