Chapter 6: The Civil Service Reform Act and whistleblower protection
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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