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Legislative Updates

House passes bill protecting federal whistleblowers

Today, in a 221-203 vote, the House of Representatives passed the Whistleblower Protection Improvement Act of 2021 (H.R. 2988). The bill, introduced by Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), would enhance whistleblower protections for federal employees, including Postal Service employees.

The legislation would solidify that no federal employee could inhibit another federal employee from sharing information with Congress. It would prohibit the launch of retaliatory investigations against any whistleblower and prohibit retaliation against employees for disclosing violations to supervisors, which include violations of the law, gross mismanagement or waste, abuse of authority, or substantial and specific danger to public health or safety.

Additionally, the bill would streamline whistleblower procedures and ensure access to a timely, judicial review. Whistleblowers would be granted access to a jury trial in federal district court if the Merit Systems Protections Board does not issue a decision in 180 days, or 240 days if the board requests an extension. It would also clarify that prevailing whistleblowers are entitled to reimbursements for attorney fees and other necessary relief.

With only a few months left in the 117th Congress, it is unclear if the Senate will consider the bill. NALC will update letter carriers on any developments. 

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