S 586

112th CONGRESS
1st Session

S. 586

To amend the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995 to apply whistleblower protections available to certain executive branch employees to legislative branch employees, and for other purposes.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

March 15, 2011

Mr. GRASSLEY (for himself and Mrs. MCCASKILL) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs


A BILL

To amend the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995 to apply whistleblower protections available to certain executive branch employees to legislative branch employees, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. APPLICATION OF WHISTLEBLOWER PROTECTION RULES TO LEGISLATIVE BRANCH EMPLOYEES.

    (a) Short Title- This Act may be cited as the `Congressional Whistleblower Protection Act of 2011'.

    (b) In General- Part A of title II of the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1311 et seq.) is amended--

      (1) in the heading, by striking `fair labor standards,' and all that follows and inserting `and other protections and benefits';

      (2) by redesignating section 207 as section 208; and

      (3) by inserting after section 206 the following:

`SEC. 207. RIGHTS AND PROTECTIONS UNDER WHISTLEBLOWER PROTECTION RULES.

    `(a) Rights and Protections Described-

      `(1) IN GENERAL- No employing office may take or fail to take, or threaten to take or fail to take, a personnel action (within the meaning of chapter 23 of title 5, United States Code) with respect to any covered employee or applicant for employment because of--

        `(A) any disclosure of information by a covered employee or applicant which the employee or applicant reasonably believes evidences--

          `(i) a violation of any law, rule, or regulation; or

          `(ii) gross mismanagement, a gross waste of funds, an abuse of authority, or a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety;

        if such disclosure is not specifically prohibited by law and if such information is not specifically required by Executive order or the rules of the Senate or the House of Representatives to be kept secret in the interest of national defense or the conduct of foreign affairs; or

        `(B) any disclosure to the General Counsel, or to the Inspector General of a legislative or executive agency or another employee designated by the head of the legislative or executive agency to receive such disclosures, of information which the employee or applicant reasonably believes evidences--

          `(i) a violation of any law, rule, or regulation; or

          `(ii) gross mismanagement, a gross waste of funds, an abuse of authority, or a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety.

      `(2) DEFINITIONS- For purposes of this section and for purposes of applying the procedures established under title IV for the consideration of alleged violations of this section--

        `(A) the term `covered employee' includes an employee of the Government Accountability Office or Library of Congress; and

        `(B) the term `employing office' includes the Government Accountability Office and the Library of Congress.

    `(b) Remedy- The remedy for a violation of subsection (a) shall be such remedy as would be appropriate if awarded under chapter 12 of title 5, United States Code, with respect to a prohibited personnel practice described in section 2302(b)(8) of such title.

    `(c) Regulations To Implement Section-

      `(1) IN GENERAL- The Board shall, pursuant to section 304, issue regulations to implement this section.

      `(2) AGENCY REGULATIONS- The regulations issued under paragraph (1) shall be the same as the substantive regulations promulgated by the Merit Systems Protection Board to implement chapters 12 and 23 of title 5, United States Code, except to the extent that the Board of Directors of the Office of Compliance may determine, for good cause shown and stated together with the regulation, that a modification of such regulations would be more effective for the implementation of the rights and protections under this section.'.

    (c) Technical and Conforming Amendments-

      (1) TABLE OF CONTENTS- The table of contents for part A of title II of the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995 is amended--

        (A) in the item relating to part A, by striking `FAIR LABOR STANDARDS,' and all that follows and inserting `AND OTHER PROTECTIONS AND BENEFITS';

        (B) by redesignating the item relating to section 207 as relating to section 208; and

        (C) by inserting after the item relating to section 206 the following:

      `Sec. 207. Rights and protections under whistleblower protection rules.'.

      (2) APPLICATION OF LAWS- Section 102(a) of the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1302(a)) is amended by adding at the end the following:

      `(12) Section 2302(b)(8) of title 5, United States Code.'.

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