H.R.1861 - Government Contractor Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989101st Congress (1989-1990)
|Sponsor:||Rep. Schroeder, Patricia [D-CO-1] (Introduced 04/12/1989)|
|Committees:||House - Education and Labor|
|Latest Action:||House - 04/26/1989 Referred to the Subcommittee on Labor Standards. (All Actions)|
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Text: H.R.1861 — 101st Congress (1989-1990)All Information (Except Text)
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- Bill and resolution texts for 1989-1992 (101st-102nd Congresses) predate authenticated digital publishing.
Introduced in House
HR 1861 IH 101st CONGRESS 1st Session H. R. 1861 To provide to employees of Government contractors protection against reprisal for disclosure to an appropriate Government official of information which the employee reasonably believes evidences misconduct relating to the contract with the Government. IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES April 12, 1989 Mrs. SCHROEDER (for herself, Mr. PENNY, Ms. OAKAR, Mrs. COLLINS, Mr. DYMALLY, Mr. AUCOIN, Mr. FASCELL, Mr. FAUNTROY, Mr. LELAND, Mr. STARK, Mr. TRAXLER, Mr. GARCIA, Mr. RAHALL, Mr. CAMPBELL of Colorado, Mr. RANGEL, Mr. OWENS of Utah, Mr. BRYANT, Mr. ESPY, Mr. YATES, Mr. WOLPE, Mr. EVANS, Mr. HUGHES, Mr. BATES, Mr. BENNETT, Mr. HAYES of Illinois, Mr. SIKORSKI, Mr. WISE, Mr. SMITH of Florida, Mr. MARTINEZ, Mr. CLINGER, Mr. KLECZKA, Mr. GLICKMAN, Mrs. BOXER, Mr. LIPINSKI, and Mr. TORRES) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Education and Labor A BILL To provide to employees of Government contractors protection against reprisal for disclosure to an appropriate Government official of information which the employee reasonably believes evidences misconduct relating to the contract with the Government. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. This Act may be cited as the `Government Contractor Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989'. SEC. 2. PROHIBITED ACTS. It shall be unlawful for a Government contractor to discharge or otherwise discriminate against any employee with respect to such employee's compensation or terms and conditions of employment because the employee (or any person acting pursuant to a request of the employee) discloses to an appropriate Government official information concerning the contract between the Government contractor and the Government agency which the employee reasonably believes evidences-- (1) a violation of any law, rule, or regulation, or (2) mismanagement, a gross waste of funds, an abuse of authority, or a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety. SEC. 3. COMPLAINT, FILING AND NOTIFICATION. (a) FILING OF COMPLAINT- Any employee who believes that he or she has been discharged or otherwise discriminated against by any Government contractor in violation of section 2 may file (or have any person file on behalf of the complainant) a complaint with the Secretary alleging such discharge or discrimination. Any such complaint may not be filed more than 30 days after the date on which the violation is alleged to have occurred or to have been discovered. Upon receipt of such complaint, the Secretary shall serve notice of the complaint on the Government contractor named in the complaint and the head of the Government agency which entered into the contract. (b) INVESTIGATION; ISSUANCE OF ORDERS- (1) Upon receipt of a complaint filed under subsection (a), the Secretary shall investigate the alleged violation. Within 30 days after receipt of such complaint, the Secretary shall complete such investigation and shall provide written notice of the results of the investigation to the complainant, any person acting on behalf of the complainant, and the Government contractor alleged to have committed such violation. (2) Within 90 days after receipt of such complaint, the Secretary shall issue an order providing the relief prescribed in subsection (c) or denying the complaint, unless the proceeding on the complaint is terminated by the Secretary on the basis of a settlement agreement entered into by the Secretary and the Government contractor alleged to have committed such violation. (3) An order of the Secretary shall be made on the record after notice and opportunity for public hearing. (4) The Secretary may not enter into a settlement agreement terminating a proceeding on a complaint without the participation and consent of the complainant. (c) RELIEF- If, in response to a complaint filed under subsection (a), the Secretary determines that a violation of section 2 has occurred, the Secretary-- (1) shall order the Government contractor who committed such violation to take affirmative action to abate the violation; (2) shall order such contractor to reinstate the complainant to the position held by such individual when discharged, together with the compensation (including back pay), employment benefits, and other terms and conditions of his or her employment; (3) shall order such contractor to provide compensatory damages to the complainant; and (4) shall assess against such contractor (at the request of the complainant) a sum equal to the aggregate amount of all costs and expenses (including attorneys' fees and expert witnesses' fees) reasonably incurred by the complainant for, or in connection with, bringing the complaint on which the order was issued, as determined by the Secretary. SEC. 4. REVIEW AND ENFORCEMENT. (a) REVIEW OF THE ORDER- (1) Any person adversely affected or aggrieved by an order issued under section 3(b) may obtain review of the order in the United States court of appeals for the circuit in which the violation alleged in the order occurred. No petition seeking such review may be filed more than 60 days after issuance of the Secretary's order. Review shall conform to chapter 7 of title 5, United States Code. (2) The commencement of proceedings under this subsection shall not, unless ordered by the court, operate as a stay of the Secretary's order. (b) ORDER NOT SUBJECT TO REVIEW IN OTHER PROCEEDINGS- An order of the Secretary with respect to which review could have been obtained under subsection (a) shall not be subject to judicial review in any criminal or other civil proceeding. (c) JUDICIAL ENFORCEMENT SOUGHT BY THE SECRETARY- Whenever a person has failed to comply with an order issued under section 3(b), the Secretary may file an action for enforcement of such order in the United States district court for the district in which the violation was found to have occurred. In any action brought under this subsection, the court may grant appropriate relief, including injunctive relief, and compensatory and exemplary damages. (d) JUDICIAL ENFORCEMENT SOUGHT BY PRIVATE PARTY- (1) Any employee on whose behalf an order is issued under section 3(b) may commence a civil action against the person to whom such order was issued to require compliance with such order. The appropriate United States district court may enforce such order. (2) The court, in enforcing any final order under this subsection, may award costs of litigation (including reasonable attorneys' fees and expert witnesses' fees) to any party whenever the court determines such award is appropriate. (e) MANDAMUS PROCEEDING- Any nondiscretionary duty imposed by this Act shall be enforceable in a mandamus proceeding brought under section 1361 of title 28, United States Code. SEC. 5. DEFINITIONS. As used in this Act-- (1) the term `appropriate Government official' includes-- (A) an officer or employee of a Government agency with which a Government contractor has entered into a contract; (B) a Member of Congress or an officer or employee of Congress, the General Accounting Office, the Congressional Budget Office, or the Office of Technology Assessment; and (C) any other officer or employee of the United States whose duties include the investigation or enforcement of any law, rule, or regulation relating to Government procurement or the subject matter of the contract; (2) the term `Government agency' means any executive agency as defined in section 105 of title 5, United States Code, or the United States Postal Service or the Postal Rate Commission; (3) the term `Government contractor' means any employer providing goods or services, under contract, to a Government agency; and (4) the term `Secretary' means the Secretary of Labor. SEC. 6. EFFECTIVE DATE. This Act shall apply to any action by a Government contractor in violation of section 2 which occurs on or after the date of enactment of this Act.