Summary: H.R.571 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.571. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in House (01/27/2015)

Veterans Affairs Retaliation Prevention Act of 2015

Authorizes a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) employee to file a whistleblower complaint with his or her immediate supervisor. Gives that supervisor two business days to determine and notify the employee as to whether there is a reasonable likelihood that the complaint discloses a violation of any law, rule, or regulation, gross mismanagement, a gross waste of funds, an abuse of authority, or substantial and specific danger to public health and safety. Requires that supervisor to include in the employee notification specific actions that the supervisor will take to address a complaint deemed reasonably valid.

Authorizes an employee whose supervisor fails to make a timely determination regarding the complaint or address the complaint to the employee's satisfaction, to file such complaint with the next-level supervisor, who shall make a determination regarding the complaint in accordance with the procedures this Act requires the immediate supervisor to follow.

Authorizes an employee to file a whistleblower complaint with the VA Secretary if the employee has filed such complaint with each level of supervisors between the employee and the Secretary in accordance with such procedures.

Requires each employee who receives a positive determination from a supervisor regarding a complaint to be: (1) informed by the Secretary of the employee's ability to volunteer for a transfer, and (2) given transfer preference.

Directs the Secretary to carry out the following adverse actions against VA employees who are determined to have committed a prohibited personnel action relating to whistleblower complaints: (1) not less than a 14-day suspension, and not more than removal, for a first offense, and (2) removal for a second offense. Gives employees no more than five days following notification of such a proposed adverse action to dispute it.

Requires the Secretary to charge an offending employee a fee that takes into account the costs borne by the federal government due to such prohibited personnel action.

Requires the Secretary, when evaluating a supervisor's performance, to take into account any failure to follow this Act's procedures or any commission of a prohibited personnel action relating to a whistleblower complaint. Denies awards or bonuses to supervisors found to have committed such prohibited personnel actions.

Directs the Secretary to: (1) provide each VA employee with annual training regarding whistleblower complaints; (2) provide annual training on merit system protection that the Special Counsel certifies as satisfactory; and (3) publish on the VA's website and prominently display at VA facilities the rights of an employee to file, and to petition Congress regarding, a whistleblower complaint.