DOD Adopts Whistleblower Rule for Contractor Employees

The Department of Defense (DoD) has adopted without change an interim rule that provides whistleblower protections for DoD contractor employees. The interim rule, issued on January 15, 2009, implemented portions of the National Defense Authorization Acts for Fiscal Years 2008 and 2009 that added these whistleblower rights and protections. Specifically, the added protections prevent government contractors from discharging, demoting, or otherwise discriminating against employees as a reprisal for disclosing to government officials information regarding waste or mismanagement, danger to public health or safety, or a violation of law related to a DoD contract.

The interim rule expanded the types of information covered by existing whistleblower protections, in addition to the categories of government officials to whom the information could be reported without reprisal. The rule also established time periods in which the Inspector General and agency head must act on the employee’s complaint of a whistleblower violation, and allows the employee to bring a claim in federal court once he or she has exhausted all administrative remedies. Pursuant to the new rule, all solicitations and contracts must include a clause informing employees of their whistleblower rights.

These requirements became final as of November 19, 2009.

Photo credit:  Lkmorlan

Information contained in this publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.