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Are more protections for whistleblowers on the way?

The passage of the American Health Care Act in the House of Representatives recently dominated headlines. So much so that another bill found approval with much fewer members of the media noticing.

HR 657 would expand protection for federal government employees who witness a fellow staff member breaking the law or forced to violate the law themselves.

Titled the "Follow The Rules Act," it represents another step in strengthening existing Whistleblower Protection Act laws and provides much-needed protection to those instructed by higher-up to deliberately violate the law.

Amending the WPA would also cover high-level managers and national security field staff. In addition, it would help reverse attempts by the federal circuit scaling back on the scope of protected activity that puts careers at risk.

However, what could be an important tool for whistleblowers still needs to pass the Senate and be signed into law by President Donald Trump. Those signs are promising. The chief executive has already signed an executive order to encourage whistleblowing that would expose problems within the Office of Veteran's Affairs.

Whatever form the changes take, the process involving claims of workplace retaliation for whistleblowing remains detailed and burdensome. Meeting deadlines, let alone winning cases present challenges. 

Regardless of the fine-tuning currently done on the Whistleblower Protection Act, the laws remain extremely complex. Cases require diligence and attention to detail from a skilled and experienced attorney who possesses comprehensive knowledge of the law and any changes.

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