DOD Enhances Whistleblower Protections for Employees of Contractors and Subcontractors

March 5, 2014

DOD Enhances Whistleblower Protections for Employees of Contractors and Subcontractors

On February 28, 2014, DOD adopted as final, with minor changes, an interim rule, published on September 30, 2013 (78 Fed. Reg. 59851, 9/30/2013), amending the DFARS to expand whistleblower protections for employees of contractors and subcontractors of DOD, NASA, and the U.S. Coast Guard. The rule implements Section 827 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 (Pub. L. 112-239). The rule protects employees from reprisal for disclosing information that the employee reasonably believes is evidence of the following:

The rule does not elaborate on the above grounds for protected disclosure except that it defines abuse of authority as “an arbitrary and capricious exercise of authority that is inconsistent with the mission of [DOD] or the successful performance of a [DOD]contract.” The rule also requires subcontractors to inform their employees of their whistleblower rights. Additionally, the rule establishes to whom employees may make protected disclosures, procedures for filing complaints regarding discrimination or reprisal resulting from a disclosure, procedures for investigating such complaints, and details available remedies. The rule became effective February 28, 2014. (79 Fed. Reg. 11336, 2/28/2014.)






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