A report from the U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) indicates that 2015 was a record year in terms of favorable actions for whistleblowers, including corrective actions, stays, disciplinary procedures and changes to organizational practices.
Officials with the OSC say they have received a notable uptick of retaliation complaints to the agency. These have come primarily from Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) employees, who have reported that they have been subject to unfair treatment after they brought to light the falsification of patient care records and/or cooperated with the officials investigating these claims.
The OSC reports that it obtained more than 270 favorable actions in 2015, typically by working with employing agencies or through complaints filed with the Merit Systems Protection Board, an independent federal agency that monitors prohibited employment practices in the U.S. government. These favorable actions, which represent a nearly 60 percent increase from the year before, impacted 212 employees who had filed complaints — most of which were related to whistleblower retaliation issues.
According to the OSC, agency officials believe a new alternative dispute resolution initiative is responsible for most of the corrective actions.
These latest numbers from the OSC show that whistleblowers are better protected from retaliation and more likely to achieve a favorable outcome than in years past. However, it’s still important for those who aim to expose wrongdoing have sound legal advice behind them before taking action. To learn more about your options, speak with an experienced Dallas attorney at Whistleblower Law for Managers.