Jason Zuckerman published an article on the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act in the ABA’s Labor and Employment Law Flash. The article discusses the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2012 (WPEA), which will substantially strengthen whistleblower protections for federal whistleblowers. The legislation recognizes that whistleblowers are crucial in helping to expose waste, fraud, abuse, mismanagement and threats to public health and safety across the Federal government. Their disclosures save billions of dollars and even human lives. A recent study published by the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) titled, “Blowing the Whistle: Barriers to Federal Employees Making Disclosures,” found that, in 2010, approximately one-third of the individuals who felt they had been identified as a source of a report of wrongdoing perceived either threats or acts of reprisal, or both.2
To ensure that federal employees will come forward with vital disclosures that make the government more efficient, transparent and accountable, the WPEA removes judicially-created loopholes that significantly narrowed the scope of protected whistleblowing under the Whistleblower Protection Act; enhances the remedies available to government whistleblowers who have suffered retaliation; strengthens the ability of the U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) to hold managers accountable for retaliating against whistleblowers; affords whistleblower protections to all Transportation Security Administration (TSA) employees; and mandates broader outreach to inform federal employees of their whistleblower rights.