In Government Executive’s article, “Biden’s Board Appointees Promise to Finally Provide Feds ‘Extra Insurance’ Against Mistreatment,” KCNF partner, Richard Renner weighs in on the impact the restoration of the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) will have on whistleblowers in the federal civil service. Previously, agencies were able to escape liability by arguing that particular officials were unaware of certain disclosures. According to Renner, however, “the new MSPB members are making clear to federal employees that proof that their disclosures are harmful to their agency is sufficient to prove motive for retaliation. That is going to make it easier for whistleblowers to win and harder for agencies to show they would have taken the same action without the whistleblowing.”
While a quorum of the MPSB has been restored with the confirmations of Tristan Leavitt and Ray Limon, the board still faces an unprecedented backlog of 3,500 cases that built up over the past five years. “Hopefully when they get a third board member confirmed, they’ll be able to work a bit quicker and work down the backlog,” Renner said. That third member, Chair Cathy Harris, was sworn in on May 31, 2022.
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