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Disclosures to Person Who Lacks Authority to Correct Wrongdoing Protected Under Federal Whistleblower Protection Act

This report relates to 1 case(s)

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    Bonds v. Leavitt, 629 F.3d 369 (4th Cir. 2011) (0 other reports)

Author: Ben K. Wooded

In Bonds v. Leavitt, +629 F.3d 369 (4th Cir. 2011), the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals addressed whether an employee who "blew the whistle" to a person who lacked authority to correct the wrongdoing was protected from retaliation under the Whistleblower Protection Act (WPA). +5 USCS § 2302(b)(8). The court also addressed whether it could hear the employee's Civil Service Reform Act (CSRA) claims after the agency failed to timely rule on the employee's Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) "mixed case complaint." +5 USCS §7512; +5 USCS § 7513. Finally, the court addressed whether a federal employee was protected from discrimination, a hostile work environment and retaliation under Title VII.

Federal employees have specific protections that may differ from those of private employees. The WPA, which was amended by the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2012, is enforced by the US Office of Special Counsel (OSC). The OSC also enforces the CSRA, the Hatch Act (prohibiting federal employees from engaging in partisan political activities) and USERRA (protecting uniformed services members' leave rights). Federal employees filing claims under the CSRA and the WPA should exhaust administrative remedies through agency proceedings, such as those before the US Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) under the WPA, before filing claims in federal court.