Effective July 1, 2013, Department of Defense (DoD) subcontractors are covered under a protection provision that became law through the fiscal 2013 National Defense Authorization Act. The law comes from Sections 827 and 828 of the Act and is applicable only to contracts made on or after July 1 or task orders on existing contracts that were made after July 1.
Before now, DoD subcontractors were not covered under whistleblower protections, and if a case of whistleblower retribution by a subcontractor was brought to the DoD’s Inspector General for administrative investigations, it would not have been investigated.
In effect, whistleblowers, whether employees of contractors or subcontractors, who make internal complaints within their company now have retribution protection.
The statute also adds protection to whistleblowers who disclose information to a court, grand jury, management office or other employee of the contractor or subcontractor who has the responsibility to investigate misconduct.
Under the amended statute, disclosures of abuse of authority that undermine performance of a contract are added to the list of items whistleblowers can disclose and be protected from reprisal and executive branch officials cannot take action against a whistleblower unless the request takes the form of a nondiscretionary directive and is within the authority of department making the request.
Burden of proof is also addressed in the new provision. The new standard stipulates that the rights and remedies contained within the law cannot be waived by any agreement, policy or condition of employment and establishes a three-year statute of limitations for filing complaints.
More information available at: http://www.fiercegovernment.com/story/dod-subcontractor-whistleblowers-now-protected/2013-06-27