Lawmakers extend VA whistleblower protections

WASHINGTON - Congress has voted to boost the protection of federal whistleblowers from retaliation, part of a bid to uncover bad behavior at the Department of Veterans Affairs and other agencies.

The House easily cleared the bill, 420-0. It now goes to President Donald Trump for his signature, having previously passed the Senate in May.

The measure would extend whistleblower protections to federal employees who are in probationary periods and provide training to ensure workers know their rights. It also establishes minimum disciplinary standards for supervisors who retaliate against whistleblowers.

The legislation is named after Dr. Chris Kirkpatrick, a psychologist at the VA Medical Center in Tomah, Wisconsin. Kirkpatrick committed suicide in 2009 on the day he was fired by the VA for questioning the over-medication of veterans.

© 2017 Associated Press


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