Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Reported to Senate amended (12/19/2012)

Non-Federal Employee Whistleblower Protection Act of 2012 - Repeals and replaces provisions prohibiting reprisals against employees of civilian and defense contractors for disclosures to federal officials of information concerning a substantial violation of law related to a public contract.

Prohibits an employee of any non-federal employer receiving covered funds (defined as any contract, grant, or other payment received by a non-federal employer if the federal government provides any portion of the money or property that is provided, requested, or demanded) from being discharged, demoted, or discriminated against as a reprisal for initiating or participating in any proceeding related to the misuse of federal funds, for reasonably opposing the misuse of federal funds, or for disclosing to specified federal agencies or officials information that the employee reasonably believes is evidence of: (1) gross mismanagement of an agency contract or grant relating to covered funds; (2) a gross waste of covered funds; (3) a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety, or an abuse of authority related to the implementation or use of covered funds; or (4) a violation of a law, rule, or regulation related to an agency contract, subcontract, or grant relating to covered funds.

Authorizes any person who believes that he or she has been subjected to a reprisal (complainant) to submit a complaint to an appropriate inspector general. Requires an inspector general to investigate and report on nonfrivolous complaints within 180 days after receipt. Grants an inspector general an extension of time to investigate and report on a complaint and discretion not to conduct or continue an investigation of a complaint.

Grants a complainant access to the investigative file of an inspector general. Allows an inspector general to exclude from disclosure any information in a file protected from disclosure by law and any additional information which the inspector general determines would impede a continuing investigation.

Requires an agency head, after receiving a report by an inspector general and determining that a reprisal has taken place, to take remedial action, including: (1) ordering the employer to take affirmative action to abate the reprisal; (2) ordering the employer to reinstate the complainant and pay compensation; (3) ordering the employer to pay the complainant costs and expenses, including attorney fees; (4) posting a copy of the decision of the inspector general to notify other employees of the employer of the reprisal; and (5) ordering the employer to pay a complainant no more than 10 times the amount of lost wages and compensatory damages for reprisals that were willful, wanton, or malicious.

Establishes a presumption that a reprisal has occurred if a complainant demonstrates that a whistleblower disclosure was a contributing factor in the reprisal. Grants a complainant who has exhausted all administrative remedies the right to bring a de novo civil action against the employer in an appropriate U.S. district court.

Prohibits a waiver of any rights or remedies provided by this Act in any agreement, policy, form, or condition of employment, including by any predispute arbitration agreement.