Summary: S.585 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed Senate amended (05/25/2017)

(This measure has not been amended since it was reported to the Senate on May 4, 2017 . The summary of that version is repeated here.)

Dr. Chris Kirkpatrick Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017


(Sec. 102) This bill directs federal agencies (excluding any entity that is an element of the intelligence community) to give priority to an employee transfer request if the Merit Systems Protections Board (MSPB) grants a stay of a personnel action at the request of: (1) the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) if the OSC determines the personnel action was taken, or is to be taken, as a result of a prohibited personnel practice; or (2) the employee if the individual is in probationary status and seeks corrective action.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) shall report to Congress on retaliation against employees in probationary status.

(Sec. 103) The bill: (1) prohibits any employee who has the authority to take a personnel action to access the medical records of another employee or applicant for employment, (2) authorizes disciplinary action against supervisors for retaliation against whistleblowers.

(Sec. 105) Agencies must: (1) refer information about employee suicides to the OSC, (2) train supervisors on responding to complaints alleging whistleblower protections violations, (3) provide information regarding whistleblower protections to new employees during probationary periods, (4) inform employees of the role of the OSC and the MSPB with regard to whistleblower protection, and (5) make information about such protections available on agency websites.


(Sec. 201) The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) must: (1) submit a plan to prevent unauthorized access to the medical records of VA employees; (2) conduct an outreach program to inform its employees of available mental health services, including telemedicine options; and (3) ensure protocols are in effect to address threats against VA employees providing health care.

(Sec. 204) The GAO shall assess the reporting, staffing, accountability, and chain of command structure of the VA police officers at VA medical centers.