National Whistleblowers Center Proposes Legislation to Restore Whistleblower Rights

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National Whistleblowers Center Proposes Legislation to Restore Whistleblower Rights

Washington, D.C. – July 4, 2006. In testimony submitted before the House Committee on Government Reform, the Chair of the National Whistleblowers Center, Stephen M. Kohn, proposed new legislation which would create the first comprehensive national whistleblower protection law.

The legislation, the Protecting Honest Amercans on the Job Act of 2006 was proposed in order to promptly close the loopholes in whistleblower protections caused by the Supreme Court’s ruling in Garcetti v. Ceballos.  In that case, the Supreme Court stripped most public employees of whistleblower protection when it upheld the discipline of Mr. Richard Ceballos based solely on Mr. Ceballos’ report of “serious misrepresentations” in a sworn affidavit.

Protecting Honest Americans on the Job Act of 2006 would:

Restore whistleblower rights to the pre-Ceballos level;
Establish an effective administrative and judicial review process for all whistleblower claims;
Provide whistleblower protections for all employees – including government employees – currently protected under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.
In his testimony before the House Government Reform Committee, Mr. Kohn, explained why the new legislation was necessary:

“…without a legislative response to Garcetti v. Ceballos, government employees who report valid concerns regarding the violation of federal laws will not have adequate protection. Those who “speak the truth” and protect the public interest will be at-risk for retaliation. Some will lose their jobs, their careers and their good names simply for disclosing serious misconduct to the wrong person.”

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