For Immediate Release
July 10, 2014
DC – Bill Silverfarb (202) 225-3531 / (202) 957-4340 cell
CA – Katrina Rill (650) 342-0300 / (650) 208-7441 cell
WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswomen Jackie Speier (D-San Francisco/San Mateo) issued the following statement after a whistleblower protection amendment was approved for H.R. 4923, the $34 billion Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2015. The amendment stipulates that the funds not be used to violate contractor whistleblower protection laws.
“The Department of Energy has allowed its contactors to stifle whistleblowers through illegal workplace secrecy agreements and taxpayer-funded lawsuits to the detriment of taxpayers. Without whistleblowers at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station in California there could have been a Fukushima-like meltdown within 50 miles of 8 million people. We need more whistleblowers, not fewer,” Congresswoman Speier said. “By preventing workers from reporting health and safety violations, the DOE is jeopardizing billions of taxpayer dollars and the public’s safety. The stakes at these facilities, which handle some of the most dangerous materials on earth, are far too high for this kind of bad practice.”
The amendment clarifies that the Department of Energy must protect non-federal employees from whistleblower retaliation. Nondisclosure agreements between federal contractors and their employees have prevented them from reporting on all wrongdoing in the workplace on all types of waste, fraud, and abuse, including sexual assault and theft of government funds.
To view the speech click here.
Congresswoman Jackie Speier is proud to represent California’s 14th Congressional District, which includes parts of San Francisco and San Mateo counties. She is a senior member of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the House Armed Services Committee (HASC). In her role on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, the Congresswoman is a ranking member on the Subcommittee on Energy Policy, Health Care, and Entitlements and serves on the Subcommittee on National Security. She serves on the Readiness Subcommittee and the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee on HASC and is a member of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force. Congresswoman Speier was appointed to serve as a Senior Whip for the Democratic caucus in the 113th Congress.