When we think of government agencies, we think of protection, justice, and law. Even though the government works to protect and serve the country to the best of its abilities, workplace harassment and abuse occur on a governmental level. Federal employees often face discrimination and harassment in the workplace for whistleblowing, or speaking out against unethical or illegal actions.
Federal employees that are bold enough to expose wrongdoing in government agencies often suffer from workplace harassment. Supervisors are unafraid to humiliate, marginalize, or ostracize federal whistleblowers. In fact, supervisors who condone whistleblowing are often rewarded for their actions with supplemental bonuses and promotions. A new law, which was signed and approved by both chambers of Congress in October, is set to put a stop to management retribution by making supervisors face disciplinary measures for their actions against whistleblowing federal employees.
The Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017
Named after a former psychologist for the Department of Veterans Affairs, Dr. Chris Kirkpatrick, a whistleblower who actively complained about the over-medication of patients at the Tomah VA Medical Center in Wisconsin, the new law is set to provide federal whistleblowers with the rights they deserve. Kirkpatrick was terminated from his position from the VA medical center after speaking out in favor of patients’ rights in July of 2009. Since the event, officials and whistleblowing employees have been making a stand in favor of federal workplace rights and free speech without fear of retribution. The Dr. Chris Kirkpatrick Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017 is setting a standard for federal whistleblower protection. If it is determined that a supervisor retaliated with a prohibited action against a whistleblowing employee, they can face suspension for up to three days for the first offense, and could be removed from their position if a second offense occurs.
Will the Law Protect Whistleblowers?
Several laws already exist to protect whistleblower rights. Media exposure, supervisor training programs, and investigations have occurred in the past that have failed to protect federal whistleblowers from retaliation. For the new bill to make an impact, change needs to happen. Agencies need to make a stand for whistleblower rights. Retaliation should be unacceptable and should be made clear that it will no longer be tolerated in the workplace. If corrective actions are taken under this new law, then whistleblowers will receive protection from workplace harassment once and for all. Attempts to intimidate or silence whistleblowers are unlawful and a form of workplace harassment. All employees are entitled to speak openly about policies, actions, and situations that they do not agree with.
Cherry Hill Whistleblower Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Assist Victims of Workplace HarassmentIf you or someone you know has faced retaliation because of whistleblowing, you may be entitled to compensation. Our experienced team of Cherry Hill whistleblower lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. will work with you to ensure that you receive the justice you deserve. With a conveniently located office in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, do not hesitate to contact us online, or call 215-569-1999 to schedule a free consultation.