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Understanding the Whistleblower Protection Act

Some employers may commit unlawful misconduct if they believe it will go unnoticed by the law. The only witnesses to this misconduct may be employees with lesser power, and these employees may hesitate to report their employer’s behavior out of fear of being reprimanded or terminated for their claims. However, if you notice your employer taking part in fraudulent, dishonest, or illegal activity, it’s important to speak up.

The Whistleblower Protection Act protects federal employees from retaliation by their employers if they voluntarily disclose information about dishonest or illegal activities occurring in a government organization. If you’ve been wrongfully terminated because you filed a whistleblower claim, an experienced federal wrongful termination lawyer may be able to help.

What Is a Whistleblower?

In the federal workplace, a whistleblower is any employee who finds out about illegal or inappropriate activity being conducted within a government organization and files a claim to report that activity to the authorities.

The whistleblower may report the wrongdoing to a news outlet, to the police, or to the Office of Special Counsel (OSC). The Whistleblower Protection Act protects both past and current employees.

Examples of Employer Misconduct 

Employer misconduct may include a violation of a law, rule, or regulation; gross mismanagement; a gross waste of funds; abuse of authority; or posing substantial danger to public health or safety. If you witness your employer discriminating against other employees, for example, you can file a whistleblower claim to prevent further discrimination from occurring. 

How to File a Whistleblower Claim

When you bring a whistleblower claim to the OSC, the OSC reviews the claim for probable cause. For your case to show probable cause, you must provide reliable and first-hand knowledge of the misconduct you’re claiming. If probable cause is present, the OSC will send the case to the proper agency for investigation. 

Contact a Federal Employment Attorney

It’s understandable to have questions about the Whistleblower Protection Act. Issues involving employer misconduct are complex, and having an experienced employment lawyer to support you can be helpful.

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