The U.S. Senate recently announced its approval of Senate Bill S795 by the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee for further consideration by the Senate. The bill calls for an expansion of whistleblower protections within the federal government.
Government employees are currently protected with whistleblower laws, but those employed by contractors, subcontractors, and grant recipients are not. This bill extends protections to those individuals.
The bill also prevents contractors from obtaining reimbursement of their legal fees when defending against a claim of retaliation from one of their employees.
According to the bill's sponsor, Sen. Claire McCaskill, those employed by contractors and grant recipients are "doing the same work, working side-by-side by government employees, but they have not had the protections they deserve."
In addition to broader protections, the bill seeks to make permanent the existing whistleblower protections that will expire in two years. Charles S. Clark "Senate Advances Plan to Expand Whistleblower Protections Among Subcontractor Employees," www.govexec.com (Feb. 11, 2016).