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Other Federal Laws

Other federal laws with whistleblower provisions generally take a different approach to whistleblowers than the FCA, providing protections to those who act as whistleblowers rather than incentives. These statutes prohibit any retaliatory discharge of or discrimination against the whistleblower and punish violators of the statute.

Within this context, the statutes can take different approaches to protecting the worker. Some provide the whistleblower with a private cause of action against the employer and allow the person to bring suit himself. These statutes include: the Clean Air Act, the Energy Reorganization Act, the Federal Deposit Corporation Improvement Act, and the Vessels and Seamen Act.

Other federal laws require the Secretary of Labor or other government official to bring action in a case of retaliatory discharge or discrimination against a whistleblower. Those statutes include: the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Civil Service Reform Act, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, the Employee Retirement Investment Securities Act, the Federal Surface Mining Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Job Training and Partnership Act, the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act, the Mining Safety and Health Act, the Occupational Safety and Health Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Solid Waste Disposal Act, the Surface Transportation Assistance Act, the Toxic Substance Control Act and the Water Pollution Control Act. These acts do not allow the whistleblower to bring his or her own private cause of action.

Generally speaking, these acts cover whistleblowers when they file a complaint or institute or cause to be instituted any proceeding under or related to the law the provision exists under, or when the whistleblower has testified or is about to testify in any proceeding related to the law. If an employer is determined to be liable for discharging or discriminating against an whistleblower employee under one of these laws, the employer can often be fined and required to reinstate the employee to his or her for-mer position; to pay compensatory damages; or take other appropriate actions to remedy any past discrimination.

Inside Other Federal Laws