OSC issues three memos outlining whistleblower protections

The Office of Special Counsel has issued a series of memos regarding whistleblower protections. These memos, disseminated to all federal agencies, outlined new whistleblower protections and updated whistleblower guidelines. These new guidelines cover all federal employees in Arizona and around the country. According to the OSC, these additional protections will provide additional protection for those employees.

The first memo serves as a reminder to federal agencies to modify their training provisions related to whistleblower retaliation. It also directs the agencies to develop new disciplinary requirements. These requirements result from the passage of the Dr. Charles Kirkpatrick Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017, as well as the OSC Reauthorization Act of 2017. Together, these acts protect federal employees who disclose governmental fraud, waste, or abuse.

The second memo deals with non-disclosure agreements. The memo reminds federal agencies and departments to ensure the policies and forms relating to non-disclosure agreements conform to the requirements outlined by whistleblower statutes. The third memo updates a 2012 memo related to monitoring employee communications. The memo reminds agencies and departments of legal restrictions and guidelines that must be considered when drafting policies that relate to monitoring employee communications.

Federal employees have rights just as do employees of private companies. A wrongful termination or other act of retaliation can be harmful to an employee and can entitle the employee to monetary damages. People who believe that they have been unfairly treated might want to meet with an attorney and see what recourse they might have. This could include filing a complaint with the appropriate state or federal agency.

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