The Successes and Failures of Whistleblower Laws

The Successes and Failures of Whistleblower Laws

Robert G. Vaughn

Drawing on literature from several disciplines, this enlightening book examines the history of whistleblower laws throughout the world and provides an analytical structure for the most common debates about the nature of such laws and their potential successes and failures.

Chapter 6: The Civil Service Reform Act and whistleblower protection

Robert G. Vaughn

Subjects: law - academic, comparative law, criminal law and justice, labour, employment law, politics and public policy, public policy

Extract

Perhaps the placement of the whistleblower provision in the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 (CSRA) was as important to its successes and failures as its content. That placement was not predestined. Proposals for whistleblower reform tended to address public- and private-sector whistleblowers separately; even within the public sector many proposals did not connect whistleblower provisions to general reform of the civil service. For example, anti-discrimination statutes applicable to federal employees could include whistleblowers. Separate institutions and standards within the civil service could apply to allegations of misconduct and to allegations of retaliation made by whistleblowers. Such institutions could include ombudsman-like ones or separate boards and agencies to consider the substance of whistleblower allegations, as well as claims of retaliation. Rather than rely on administrative redress for retaliation, whistleblowers could simply be given private rights of action to sue in federal courts, actions in which whistleblowers could be entitled to a trial by jury.

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