30 Sep '16, 3pm

VA whistleblowers get new protections in budget deal

Tucked into the last-minute budget deal passed by Congress this week are new protections for whistleblowers in the Department of Veterans Affairs in response to a series of high-profile retaliation cases that lawmakers insist show a cultural problem in the bureaucracy. The provisions -- based on legislation co-authored by Sens. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn. -- require a 12-day minimum suspension for the first time supervisors retaliate against a whistleblower and immediate dismissal if the same offense happens again. It also includes in supervisors' performance ratings how they respond to employee complaints and concerns, and expands other existing whistleblower protections to VA doctors and nurses, a group previously left out of some of the federal regulations. Kirk praised the move as a critical step forward in fixing the department’s problems. “This...

Full article: http://www.militarytimes.com/articles/cr-deal-va-whistleb...

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