5e. Whistleblower Protection (41 U.S.C. §4712)
The federal government has implemented a pilot program for Enhancement of Employee Whistleblower Protection (41 U.S.C. §4712) that is effective until January 1, 2017. This program applies to all employees working for contractors, grantees, subcontractors and sub-grantees on federal grants and contracts.
Under the program, employers may not discharge, demote, or otherwise discriminate against an employee as a reprisal for disclosing information that the employee reasonably believes is evidence of any of the following:
- Gross mismanagement of a Federal contract or grant;
- A gross waste of Federal funds;
- An abuse of authority relating to a Federal contract or grant;
- A substantial and specific danger to public health or safety; or,
- A violation of law, rule, or regulation related to a Federal contract or grant (including the competition for, or negotiation of, a contract or grant).
To qualify under the statute, the employee's disclosure must be made to:
- A Member of Congress, or a representative of a Congressional Committee;
- An Inspector General;
- The Government Accountability Office;
- A federal employee responsible for contract or grant oversight or management at the relevant agency;
- A court or grand jury; or,
- A management official or other employee of the contractor, subcontractor, grantee, or sub-grantee who has the responsibility to investigate, discover or address misconduct.
The University of Iowa is committed to fostering responsible conduct of research and maintaining a safe work environment. That commitment involves full compliance to all local, state and federal laws as well as UI policies. If you observe what you think is a specific safety issue or a deficiency in compliance with regulations, we encourage you to report your concern so that it can be investigated.