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Whistleblower Protection Laws

A Federal employee with authority to take, direct others to take, recommend or approve any personnel action must not use that authority to take or fail to take, or threaten to take or fail to take, a personnel action against an employee or applicant because of disclosure of information by that individual that is reasonably believed to evidence violations of law, rule or regulation; gross mismanagement; gross waste of funds; an abuse of authority; or a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety, unless disclosure of such information is specifically required by Executive order to be kept secret in the interest of national defense or the conduct of foreign affairs.

Retaliation against an employee for making a protected disclosure is prohibited by 5 USC � 2302(b)(8). If you believe that you have been the victim of whistleblower retaliation, the statute indicates that you may file a written complaint with the U.S. Office of Special Counsel at 1730 M Street NW, Suite 218, Washington, DC 20036-4505 or online through the OSC web site at However, the Inspector General (IG) Act of 1978, as amended by the Intelligence Community (IC) Whistleblower Protection Act of 1998, provides employees and contractors of intelligence agencies with a mechanism for reporting alleged wrongdoing in IC agencies and associated programs. This substantive area is under the purview of each IC agency's Office of Inspector General.

Retaliation for Engaging in Protected Activity

A Federal agency cannot retaliate against an employee or applicant because that individual exercises his or her rights under any of the Federal antidiscrimination or whistleblower protection laws listed above. If you believe that you are the victim of retaliation for engaging in protected activity, you must follow, as appropriate, the procedures described in the Antidiscrimination Laws and Whistleblower Protection Laws sections or, if applicable, the administrative or negotiated grievance procedures in order to pursue any legal remedy.

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