The Senate version of the Whistleblower Protection Act (S.372) contains troublesome provisions that actually reduce whistleblower rights but may be passed soon due to a Senate tactic called “hotlining.” When a bill is “hotlined” in the Senate, there is no roll call vote, no debate, no amendment process, and the bill is passed after a certain amount of time as long as no Senator objects. Even more outrageous, in some instances, the “hotline” notification may not even reach some Senators! Although many provisions of S.372 enhance whistleblower protection, there are many “poison pills” that must be corrected, including these:
- the strong FBI whistleblower protection law is repealed (page 46)
- agency heads (covering over half the federal workforce) may unilaterally fire a whistleblower with no administrative or judicial review (page 73)
- the agency that fires a whistleblower is given exclusive power to investigate on whether that agency broke the law (page 70)
- gives the federal agency the ability to request the dismissal of a case without giving the employee a hearing or jury trial (page 57)
The House of Representatives version of the bill (HR.1507) enhances whistleblower protection and the National Whistleblowers Center fully supports the passage of the House version.
It only takes one Senator’s demand that these issues be fixed in order to stop this Trojan horse from destroying existing whistleblower protections. That Senator can be yours. Please TAKE ACTION and contact your Senator today!
*Philip Barrett (a NWC intern) contributed to this posting