The Whistleblower Protection Act: An Overview
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
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This report discusses the federal statutory protections contained within the Whistleblower Protection Act WPA for federal employees who engage in whistleblowing, that is, making a disclosure evidencing illegal or improper government activities. The protections of the WPA apply to most federal executive branch employees and become applicable where a personnel action is taken because of a protected disclosure made by a covered employee. Generally, whistleblower protections may be raised within four forums or proceedings 1 employee appeals to the Merit Systems Protection Board of an agencys adverse action against an employee, known as Chapter 77 appeals 2 actions instituted by the Office of Special Counsel 3 individually maintained rights of action before the Merit Systems Protection Board known as an individual right of action, or IRA and 4 grievances brought by the employee under negotiated grievance procedures. On March 9, 2007, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform reported H.R. 985 110th Cong. H.Rept. 110-42, the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2007, which would amend the WPA by providing protections for certain national security, government contractor, and science-based agency whistleblowers, and by enhancing the existing whistleblower protections for all federal employees.
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