Senate Bill Would Boost Whistleblowers' Chances In Court

By Dietrich Knauth (May 15, 2012, 6:12 PM EDT) -- The Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act, which unanimously passed the U.S. Senate on Tuesday, greatly expands whistleblowers' chances in retaliation lawsuits by removing several barriers to claiming protected status and by eliminating exclusive appellate jurisdiction by the Federal Circuit, which has been extremely unfavorable to such cases.

Between 1994 and 2012, whistleblowers had won just three out of 220 retaliation cases before the Federal Circuit, and the court's unfavorable rulings had slowly chopped the original 1989 Whistleblower Protection Act to pieces, according to Tom Devine, legal director of the nonprofit Government Accountability Project.

"The court had a scorched-earth conflict with the rights...

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