Under federal law, it is illegal for agencies or offices to take any sort of action against an employee who reports wrongdoing or safety concerns. Of course, retaliation still unfortunately happens with some regularity, and it is the responsibility of the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) to investigate these cases and punish the offenders.
The sheer number of whistleblower retaliation cases on the office’s list can mean it can take quite some time for cases to be resolved. However, recently the OSC has taken new steps to combat this waitlist issue.
The OSC recently set up a brand-new efficiency and effectiveness group within the OSC that will work to devise better, quicker communication with whistleblowers. The goal is to cut down on the length of time it takes to reach a decision in each case.
All whistleblower retaliation cases are tracked by a variety of data points, including statute and agency. Unsurprisingly, the larger agencies tend to have more retaliation cases. For example, about a third of all open cases have come from the Department of Veterans Affairs. Another large portion of open cases came from the Department of Homeland Security.
Recent laws, including the Dr. Chris Kirkpatrick Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017, have afforded whistleblowers more protections against retaliation than ever. However, Congress’s commitment to protecting whistleblowers has had the side effect of increasing the number of whistleblower cases brought forth. These efforts by the OSC will help to ensure all whistleblowers have their cases resolved much more efficiently
For more information on how to proceed with a whistleblower retaliation claim, meet with an experienced Dallas attorney at Whistleblower Law for Managers.