March 9, 2006. Washington, D.C. Congressman Edward Markey introduced a bill today in the U.S. House of Representatives to “improve whistleblower protections.” The proposed law, which is modeled on the Sarbanes-Oxley corporate whistleblower statute and protects all federal employees and contractors. In addition to reinstatement, it also permits wrongfully terminated whistleblowers to collect back pay, compensatory damages (which includes compensation for emotional distress and loss of reputation), attorney fees, treble damages and punitive damages up to 5 million dollars.
Stephen M. Kohn, the Chairman of the National Whistleblowers Center, issue the following statement:
Congressman Markey’s legislation should be endorsed by every advocate for whistleblower protection. For the first time federal employees and contractors will have the same rights as private sector corporate employees. The legislation closes the numerous loopholes in current federal laws and permits whistleblowers to recover realistic damages. If passed, for the first time in American history, millions of federal employees and contractors will have adequate whistleblower protections. Taxpayers will save billions of dollars from unethical contractors and government employees will be able to realistically report waste, fraud and abuse in all government agencies. Congressman Markey’s legislation represents a most significant advancement in real government accountability.
- Markey’s Press Release: http://markey.house.gov/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=1301&Itemid=125