DOD Contractors to Get New Whistleblower Protections

Beginning this month, whistleblowers working for Defense Department subcontractors will benefit from a new law intended to provide increased protection to those who expose potential wrongdoing. Contractors who report suspected fraud, waste, and abuse within their company rather than directly to the Department of Defense inspector general will also gain protection, according to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013. “Since internal complaints weren’t covered under the statute, those people who did make an internal hotline complaint and believed they were retaliated against had nowhere to get protection,” said Nilgun Tolek, a DOD investigation director. The law protects whistleblowers by requiring that contractors offer, “clear and convincing evidence,” that they would have taken the same disciplinary action against an employee even if he or she had not come forward with an allegation of abuse, Tolek said.

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