A number of different remedies are available under the Whistleblower Protection Act. For example, you can be awarded backpay, which is the difference in salary that you would have been paid had you, for example, been promoted to a higher position as compared to what you are actually paid. You can also be awarded emotional distress damages for emotional harm that you suffered as a result of the employer’s retaliation against you.
Other types of damages include attorney’s fees. If you have to hire an attorney to represent you during this process, the Whistleblower Protection Act provides that the agency may have to pay those fees on your behalf. You also may be entitled to equitable relief. Let’s say you were fired from your agency, under the Whistleblower Protection Act you can actually be reinstated to your job.
Finally one of the most unique portions of the Whistleblower Protection Act is that the Office of Special Counsel can actually seek to discipline the managers who retaliated against you, which is a very unique form of remedy under federal anti-discrimination and retaliation laws.
Frequently Asked Questions About the Whistleblower Protection Act
Guide to the Whistleblower Protection Act
Whistleblower attorneys Eric Bachman and Jason Zuckerman, former senior officials at the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, have released a guide for federal employee whistleblowers titled The Whistleblower Protection Act: Empowering Federal Employees to Root Out Waste, Fraud and Abuse and is available for download by clicking here. The goal of the guide is to inform federal employees about the whistleblower rights and protections available under the Whistleblower Protection Act, as amended by the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act and the Follow the Rules Act.
Drawing on their experience enforcing the WPA at OSC and representing whistleblowers in private practice, the guide provides an overview of the WPA and offers practical tips for navigating some of the challenging issues that often arise in whistleblower cases. Topics covered include:
- What Disclosures are Protected Under the Whistleblower Protection Act?
- Does the Whistleblower Protection Act Protect Employees Who Exercise an Appeal or Grievance Right?
- Prohibited Forms of Whistleblower Retaliation
- Proving Knowledge of Protected Whistleblowing
- Proving Causation
- What is an Agency’s Burden to Avoid Liability Once the Whistleblower Has Proved Causation?
- Seeking Relief from Retaliation
- Election of Remedies
- Can OSC Seek a Stay of a Personnel Action?
- Damages or Remedies for Retaliation
- Gag Orders and Non-Disclosure Agreements
Experienced Washington DC Whistleblower Protection Act Lawyers
Zuckerman Law has represented whistleblowers before the Office of Special Counsel, Offices of Inspectors General, and Congressional oversight committees. The firm is uniquely qualified to represent whistleblowers in the federal government because two of the firm’s attorneys served in senior roles at the U.S. Office of Special Counsel. If you are seeking representation in a whistleblower protection case, click here, or call us at (262) 8959 to schedule a free preliminary consultation.
- Eric Bachman served as Deputy Special Counsel, Litigation and Legal Affairs, OSC, where he spearheaded an initiative to combat whistleblower retaliation at the Department of Veterans Affairs. During Bachman’s tenure at OSC, the number of favorable actions for whistleblowers increased by over 50% agency-wide.
- Jason Zuckerman served as Senior Legal Advisor to the Special Counsel at OSC, where he worked on implementation of the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act and several high-profile investigations.
The firm has represented whistleblowers testifying before the House Financial Services Committee and vigorously opposed efforts to silence whistleblowers. The whistleblower protection lawyers at Zuckerman Law have also helped federal employees combat unlawful gag provisions in agency policies or agreements.