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Whistleblower Bills Would Protect Private Sector Employees

09/21/2012 -Two bills introduced in Congress last week would extend protection to whistleblowers who expose mismanagement, fraud, or abuse in the private sector.

H.R. 6406, introduced by Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) and cosponsored by Rep. Todd Platts (R-PA), would give whistleblower protections to private sector contractors and subcontractors who alert regulators to the mismanagement of federal grants, contracts, or other payments. The whistleblowers would be protected from retaliation if they have good-faith evidence of gross mismanagement or waste, violations of rules or regulations, or threats to public safety related to federal funds.

H.R. 6409, introduced by Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA), would protect employees of contractors, subcontractors, or members of professional membership organizations who report misconduct. The bill would protect an employee who reasonably believes his or her employer has violated or intends to violate a relevant law, is posing a potential danger to the public, or has committed fraud. Employees can also report fraud relating to compliance with standards established by a professional standards-setting organization.