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Whistleblower Rights and Protections

At VA, we take whistleblower complaints seriously. Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs Sloan Gibson recently stated, “[i]ntimidation or retaliation–not just against whistleblowers, but against any employee who raises a hand to identify a problem, make a suggestion, or report what may be a violation in law, policy, or our core values–is absolutely unacceptable. I will not tolerate it in our organization.” 

Whistleblower disclosures can save lives as well as billions of taxpayer dollars. They play a critical role in keeping our Government honest, efficient, and accountable. Recognizing that whistleblowers root out waste, fraud, and abuse, and protect public health and safety, Federal laws strongly encourage employees to disclose wrongdoing. Federal laws also protect whistleblowers from retaliation.

If you believe you have experienced retaliation for filing a whistleblower disclosure, please contact:

VA’s commitment to whistleblower rights and protections

On an annual basis, the Secretary of VA sends out a message to all employees reiterating VA’s commitment to equal employment, diversity and inclusion, and whistleblower rights and protections. The Secretary’s message also includes links to various avenues of redress for employees who have experienced retaliation because of whistleblowing or filing an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) complaint.

VA recently registered for and published an implementation plan to receive certification from OSC’s Section 2302(c) Certification Program. OSC’s Section 2302(c) Certification Program will assist VA in meeting its statutory obligation to inform its employees about the rights and remedies available to them under the law. The Assistant Secretary for Human Resources and Administration issued a statement on VA's implementation of OSC’s Section 2302(c) Certification Program.

Important information for employees who have signed non-disclosure agreements

This important information is available for you to review in PDF and Word.

Publications

  1. OSC Posters - By direction of the Deputy Secretary, the following posters must be placed in a public setting at all VA facilities and at all VA personnel and EEO offices:
    • Whistleblowing (PDF)
    • Whistleblower Retaliation (PDF)
    • Prohibited Personnel Practices (PDF)
    OSC Publications - By direction of the Deputy Secretary, new hires to VA must be provided with a hard-copy of the following publications during employee orientation:
    • Know Your Rights When Reporting Wrongs (PDF)
    • Your Rights as a Federal Employee (PDF)
  2. List of prohibited personnel practices (PowerPoint)

Training

  1. Prevention of Workplace Harassment and Notification and Federal Employee Antidiscrimination and Retaliation Act of 2002 (No FEAR Act) – VA employees must complete this training on a biennial basis. Employees may access this training through VA’s Talent Management System (course ID 8872).
  2. The Office of Special Counsel (OSC) offers training to federal agencies and non-federal organizations in each of the areas within OSC’s jurisdiction.
  3. Department of Veterans Affairs Whistleblower Rights and Protection & Prohibited Personnel Practices for Managers and Supervisors