Whistleblower Protection Bill Blocked in the Senate

A federal whistleblower protection bill introduced to the U.S. Senate by Ron Johnson of Wisconsin has been blocked by Minority Leader Harry Reid.

The Dr. Christopher Kirkpatrick Whistleblower Protection Act of 2015 aims to provide greater protections to federal whistleblowers, including those working for the Department of Veterans Affairs. It is named after a psychologist who took his own life after being fired from a Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Tomah, Wisconsin. Dr. Kirkpatrick had reportedly raised concerns about the medications prescribed to patients, and he committed suicide shortly after his termination.

Sen. Johnson, who chairs the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, had sought unanimous consent for the measure in the full Senate, but Sen. Reid raised an objection. The bill will now be delayed until at least September.

Political gamesmanship

In a statement issued shortly after the delay, Sen. Johnson derided Sen. Reid, saying that the action was an affront to veterans. Reid, on the other hand, said that he delayed the measure simply because it was too narrowly focused. He says he would like to come up with a more comprehensive “package of bills” made up of compromises between Democrats and Republicans.

The protection of whistleblowers both in government and within private businesses and organizations has been the subject of a lot of focus in recent years. Whistleblowers today are more incentivized than ever to report wrongdoing within their organizations. For more information on how you can manage this pressing issue, contact a trusted Dallas attorney at Whistleblower Law for Managers today.