Office of Special Counsel

In January 2015, the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) submitted a proposed rule it claimed would extend protections under the Civil Service Reform Act and the Whistleblower Protection Act to employees of Federal contractors.  The National Whistleblower Center filed a public comment on March 23, 2015, stating that the proposed rule could cause more harm than good for employees of federal contractors and asked the OSC to withdraw the proposed rule.

On December 30, 2015, the OSC filed a notice in the Federal Register to withdraw the proposed rule.

David Colapinto, NWC General Counsel and author of the NWC’s public rule making comment, discussed the proposed rule and OSC’s decision to withdraw with Federal News Radio. You can read the entire interview here.
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On April 13, 2015, the House subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations of the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs heard testimony on whistleblower retaliation within the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA). The hearing focused on the treatment of whistleblowers within the VA, particularly the types and levels of retaliation they experience when reporting problems.

Special Counsel Carolyn Lerner testified that “In several cases, the medical records of whistleblowers have been accessed and information in those records has apparently been used to attempt to discredit the whistleblowers.”  
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In January the U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) proposed a rule that it claims would extend protections under the Civil Service Reform Act and the Whistleblower Protection Act to employees of federal contractors.  However, as my previous blog on this proposed rule stated, the unintended consequences of this rule may cause more harm than good for employees of federal contractors.

On Monday, March 23, the National Whistleblower Center (NWC) filed comments on the proposed rule. The submission by the NWC cautioned OSC stating “we believe that part of the proposed rule should be modified to ensure that employees of contractors are aware of their rights under the False Claims Act, and the part pertaining to disclosure of classified information should be withdrawn until further clarification about the use and handling of classified information is provided.”
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Washington, D.C. January 22, 2015. Today the U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) proposed a rule that it claims would extend protections under the Civil Service Reform Act and the Whistleblower Protection Act to employees of Federal contractors.  However, the unintended consequences of OSC’s proposed rule may cause more harm than good for employees of federal contractors.

This rule may cause confusion and interfere with other preexisting rights contractors have under other laws.  OSC should reconsider whether such a rule is even necessary given that employees of contractors already have stronger whistleblower protections under state and federal law than federal employees.  In any event, if the proposed rule is enacted it should be amended to make sure this confusion or weakening of other rights does not occur.    
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The American Bar Association (ABA) is holding a brown bag lunch panel with staff members from the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) on Thursday, November 3rd, from 12:00 pm-1:30 pm EST. The panel discussion will cover recent developments in Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) and Federal Circuit case law that impact whistleblowers. The panel will

Last Thursday, April 14, 2011, the Senate confirmed Carolyn Lerner as Special Counsel. This post, which investigates and takes positions on federal employee whistleblower allegations, has been vacant for over two years. I reported here last month about her confirmation hearing.

Ms. Lerner has a difficult job ahead of her. Her staff is underfunded, and

The Office of Special Counsel (OSC) is the federal government’s attorney charged with protecting federal employee whistleblowers. It took President Obama a long time to finally pick a nominee for this position. Today, the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee (HSGAC) held a hearing on that nominee, Carolyn Lerner.  One thing that Sen. Daniel