As a federal employee, you may witness actions that you know or believe to be wrongful or illegal. You would be doing the right thing by alerting the appropriate person or agency, such as senior management, the agency Inspector General, or Congress. However, in doing so, your employer could take unfavorable actions against you.
This is why many people who have reported their employer or co-worker for doing something illegal are vulnerable to retaliation. They may fear that they will be fired, demoted or otherwise punished as a result of their actions.
The Whistleblower Protection Act
The Whistleblower Project Act was originally introduced in 1989. It was put in place to protect federal civil service employees when they made a complaint. This allows federal employees, former federal employees, or federal applicants to take action to enforce the law without fear of retaliation.
When can I make a disclosure of wrongdoing under the Whistleblower Protection Act?
You should be protected under the Whistleblower Protection Act if you disclose certain illegal activities as a federal employee. These illegal activities include gross mismanagement, waste of funds, and abuse of authority, You can also make a disclosure of wrongdoing if you believe that there has been a violation of law, rule or regulation, or if you believe that there is a specific or substantial danger to the public because of your employer’s actions. There are separate protections available for employees who work in the intelligence community and for some employees of government contractors.
If you are unsure of whether you can be protected under the Whistleblower Protection Act, you should make sure that you understand the intricacies of the law. If you believe you have had wrongful action taken against you because of a complaint you made, you should consider taking action to resolve this.