Federal contract employees get whistle-blower aid

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Associated Press

Posted on December 21, 2012 at 4:02 PM

Updated Friday, Dec 21 at 4:04 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress has sent President Barack Obama new protections for employees of federal contractors who are fired or harassed by government officials after exposing fraud, waste and abuse.

A $633 billion defense bill, passed by the Senate on Friday, includes permanent legal protection for employees of Defense Department contractors, subcontractors and grant recipients.

In a four-year experiment, the protection also will apply to non-defense contract employees and grant recipients while congressional investigators study how the system is working.

The exception is contractors working for intelligence agencies, who will not be covered.

The Government Accountability Project, which represents whistle-blowers, estimated the legislation would protect 12 million people.

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