Take a look at this piece we came across regarding a proposed Government Contractor Whistleblower Practices Rule that may create more problems than solutions!
On January 22, several government administrations proposed an amendment to the Federal Acquisition Regulation that would forbid the government from spending money on businesses or nonprofits who require employees or subcontractors to sign “confidentiality agreements or statements prohibiting or otherwise restricting such employees or subcontractors from lawfully reporting (any) waste, fraud, or abuse.” Essentially, the proposed rule could BAR companies from federal contracting based on the company’s whistleblower practices.
The comment and response period for the proposal lasts until March 22 and local attorneys already have begun sounding off. Many argue that the rule, as written, is too vague and could lead to unforeseen pitfalls. Some of these pitfalls include: competitor bid protests, extensive review of supply-chain agreements, enforcement questions and retaliation suits from employees who feel their rights have been chilled.
Whistleblower cases overall are on the rise. The EEOC reports receiving 20,000 more complaints for “retaliation against an employee for reporting workplace discrimination” or civil rights violations in 2015 than it received less than 20 years ago. OSHA reports whistleblower cases are up about 65% from 2005.
That said, a new amendment regarding whistleblower practices may be necessary BUT does the current proposal fit the bill? What are your thoughts? Click here for the full Crain’s piece on this!
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