Whistleblower Protection Bill Clears SenatePublished: Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Legislation (S-743) has been passed in the Senate to boost legal protections for federal whistleblowers, a bill that has been offered for many years and that has come close to final passage several times. The measure would broaden the definition of the types of disclosures deemed to be whistleblowing, allow allegations of retaliation to be brought in federal court in some circumstances, and add new protections regarding federal research. It also would expand coverage of whistleblower protections to TSA screeners, as well as create new rights for employees in national security related positions. That latter provision has proven to be the main difficulty in gaining enactment over the years, and has been changed many times to take into account the concerns of those agencies. Both the Senate and House have approved differing versions of the bill in the past but never resolved those differences; a similar bill cleared the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee last November.