50 U.S. Code § 2702 - Whistleblower protection program
(a) Program required
The Secretary of Energy shall establish a program to ensure that covered individuals may not be discharged, demoted, or otherwise discriminated against as a reprisal for making protected disclosures.
(b) Covered individuals
For purposes of this section, a covered individual is an individual who is an employee of the Department of Energy, or of a contractor of the Department, who is engaged in the defense activities of the Department.
(c) Protected disclosures
For purposes of this section, a protected disclosure is a disclosure—
(1) made by a covered individual who takes appropriate steps to protect the security of the information in accordance with guidance provided under this section;
(3) of classified or other information that the covered individual reasonably believes to provide direct and specific evidence of any of the following:
(d) Persons and entities to which disclosures may be made
A person or entity specified in this subsection is any of the following:
(1) A member of a committee of Congress having primary responsibility for oversight of the department, agency, or element of the Government to which the disclosed information relates.
(2) An employee of Congress who is a staff member of such a committee and has an appropriate security clearance for access to information of the type disclosed.
(e) Official capacity of persons to whom information is disclosed
A member of, or an employee of Congress who is a staff member of, a committee of Congress specified in subsection (d) who receives a protected disclosure under this section does so in that member or employee’s official capacity as such a member or employee.
(f) Assistance and guidance
The Secretary, acting through the Inspector General of the Department of Energy, shall provide assistance and guidance to each covered individual who seeks to make a protected disclosure under this section. Such assistance and guidance shall include the following:
(2) Advising that individual regarding the steps to be taken to protect the security of the information to be disclosed.
(3) Taking appropriate actions to protect the identity of that individual throughout that disclosure.
The Secretary shall prescribe regulations to ensure the security of any information disclosed under this section.
(h) Notification to covered individuals
The Secretary shall notify each covered individual of the following:
(i) Complaint by covered individuals
If a covered individual believes that that individual has been discharged, demoted, or otherwise discriminated against as a reprisal for making a protected disclosure under this section, the individual may submit a complaint relating to such matter to the Director of the Office of Hearings and Appeals of the Department of Energy.
(j) Investigation by Office of Hearings and Appeals
(1) For each complaint submitted under subsection (i), the Director of the Office of Hearings and Appeals shall—
(k) Remedial action
(1) Whenever the Secretary determines that a covered individual has been discharged, demoted, or otherwise discriminated against as a reprisal for making a protected disclosure under this section, the Secretary shall—
(A) If a contractor fails to comply with an order issued under paragraph (1)(B), the Secretary may file an action for enforcement of the order in the appropriate United States district court.
(l) Relationship to other laws
The protections provided by this section are independent of, and not subject to any limitations that may be provided in, the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 (Public Law 101–12; 103 Stat. 16) or any other law that may provide protection for disclosures of information by employees of the Department of Energy or of a contractor of the Department.
(m) Annual report
(1) Not later than 30 days after the commencement of each fiscal year, the Director shall submit to the Committee on Armed Services of the Senate and the Committee on Armed Services of the House of Representatives a report on the investigations undertaken under subsection (j)(1)(B) during the preceding fiscal year, including a summary of the results of each such investigation.
Source(Pub. L. 107–314, div. D, title XLVI, § 4602, formerly Pub. L. 106–65, div. C, title XXXI, § 3164,Oct. 5, 1999, 113 Stat. 946; renumbered Pub. L. 107–314, div. D, title XLVI, § 4602, and amended Pub. L. 108–136, div. C, title XXXI, § 3141(i)(3),Nov. 24, 2003, 117 Stat. 1776; Pub. L. 113–66, div. C, title XXXI, § 3146(g)(2),Dec. 26, 2013, 127 Stat. 1079.)
References in Text
The Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989, referred to in subsec. (l), is Pub. L. 101–12, Apr. 10, 1989, 103 Stat. 16, as amended, which enacted subchapters II (§ 1211 et seq.) and III (§ 1221 et seq.) of chapter 12 and section 3352 of Title 5, Government Organization and Employees, amended sections 1201 to 1206, 1209, 1211, 2302, 2303, 3393, 7502, 7512, 7521, 7542, 7701, and 7703 of Title 5 and section 4139 of Title 22, Foreign Relations and Intercourse, repealed sections 1207 and 1208 of Title 5, and enacted provisions set out as notes under sections 1201, 1211, and 5509 of Title 5. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title of 1989 Amendment note set out under section 1201 of Title 5 and Tables.
Section was formerly classified to section 7239 of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare, prior to renumbering by Pub. L. 108–136.
2013—Subsec. (l). Pub. L. 113–66, § 3146(g)(2)(A), substituted “Public Law 101–12; 103 Stat. 16” for “Public Law 101–512”.
Subsec. (n). Pub. L. 113–66, § 3146(g)(2)(B), struck out subsec. (n). Text read as follows: “Not later than December 5, 1999, the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Armed Services of the Senate and the Committee on Armed Services of the House of Representatives a report describing the implementation of the program required by this section.”
2003—Subsec. (n). Pub. L. 108–136, § 3141(i)(3)(D), substituted “December 5, 1999,” for “60 days after October 5, 1999,”.