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House Passes Bill to Clarify Whistleblower Protection for Federal Employees


Washington, D.C. – WEBWIRE

Monday the House of Representatives passed the Follow the Rules Act, H.R. 657.  The bill, introduced by Representatives Sean Duffy (R-WI) and Gerry Connolly (D-VA), aims to address a misinterpretation of the Whistleblower Protection Act by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in the case of Rainey v. MSPB. This bill clarifies that under the WPA, employees are protected against retaliation for refusing to obey an order that would require them to violate a law, rule or regulation.

Congressman Connolly released the following statement on the passage of H.R. 657:

“I thank my colleague, Mr. Duffy, for introducing this critical legislation. Protecting whistleblowers has been and should continue to be a nonpartisan issue and something on which we can all agree.”

“If the Administration and my colleagues are serious about ‘draining the swamp,’ we need to do all we can to ensure that federal employees are allowed to perform their jobs free from political pressure to violate laws, rules, and regulations.”

“As a member of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, I rely on whistleblowers to help us with our oversight and reform work.  Without them, rooting out mismanagement, abuse, and corruption would be very difficult. Employees should be protected from retaliation if they do the right thing, even if it means disobeying orders from their superiors.”

“Given the Trump Administration’s attacks on the federal workforce, it is especially important now for Congress to uphold whistleblower protections for our public servants. We cannot tolerate the issuance of gag orders to silence dissent.  And, we cannot permit the firing of agency employees who have differing political views from our own or from Administration actions.”

Whistleblower advocate groups commend this action by the House. “This is an important step forward,” said Stephen M. Kohn, partner at Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto and executive director of the National Whistleblower Center. Kohn continued: “H.R. 657 closes a dangerous loophole and the Senate should immediately pass this bill.”

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 Federal Employees
 Whistleblower protection
 government reform
 Whistleblower Retaliation
 Government whistleblowers


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