Office of Special Counsel Proposes Expanding Whistleblower Coverage to Federal Contractors

The U.S. Office of Special Counsel (USOSC) proposed a rule on January 22 that would extend whistleblower protections to employees of federal contractors who report on government malfeasance. If implemented, the proposed rule would place those contractor employees on par with the federal employees alongside whom they work insofar as whistleblower protections go. According to the preamble to the proposed rule, the impetus for the rule is the expanded use of contract employees in the federal workforce, and USOSC’s objective is to give those employees the same “safe channel to report wrongdoing within the government” that is afforded already to federal employees under the Civil Service Reform Act and Whistleblower Protection Act performing “similar if not identical duties.” Comments on the proposed rule are due on or before March 23, 2015.

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