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Whistleblower Retaliation

Whistleblowers perform an important service for the public and for the Federal Communications Commission and the FCC Office of Inspector General (OIG) when they report evidence of wrongdoing. Federal laws such as the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 (WPA) and the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2012 protect FCC employees, applicants, contractors, and subcontractors from retaliation for disclosing allegations of wrongdoing – specifically allegations of a violation of law, rule or regulation; gross mismanagement; gross waste of funds; abuse of authority; or a substantial or specific danger to public health or safety.

Federal officials are prohibited from taking, threatening or failing to take a personnel action against a whistleblower for making a “protected disclosure.” A disclosure is protected if it is based on a reasonable belief that wrongdoing has occurred and if the disclosure is made to a person or entity authorized to receive it.

This page and the linked information accessible from this page are intended to educate FCC employees about whistleblower protections.

If you believe you have been subject to retaliation for a protected whistleblowing activity, you may contact either of the following offices:

  • U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC): The OSC is an independent federal investigative and prosecutorial agency designed to protect federal employees and applicants from prohibited personnel practices, especially allegations of whistleblower retaliation. The OSC has the authority to seek a temporary stay of a pending personnel action and can seek to correct a retaliatory personnel action of behalf of a whistleblower. More information regarding filing with OSC can be found at the following:
  • FCC OIG: The FCC OIG has the authority to review complaints submitted regarding allegations of whistleblower retaliation. To file a complaint with the FCC OIG, send details to WPC@fcc.gov.



If you are a FCC employee filing a complaint concerning allegations of discrimination based on your race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation), national origin, age (40 or older), and/or disability; or allegations of retaliation because of a civil rights complaint you made; or personnel action appeals, you may contact:


Additional Information
Whistleblower Protection Coordinator

The Inspector General Act, as amended, and the WPA require FCC OIG to designate an individual to serve as the OIG’s Whistleblower Protection Coordinator (WPC) to educate FCC OIG employees and supervisors regarding prohibitions on retaliation for protected disclosures. The WPC is also instructed to educate employees who have made or are contemplating making a protected disclosure about the rights and remedies available to them, and to ensure that OIG is promptly and thoroughly reviewing any complaints it receives. The WPC coordinates with the U.S. OSC, other agencies and organizations on relevant matters.

The OIG WPC cannot act as a legal representative, agent or advocate for any individual whistleblower. The WPC provides information to allow individuals to make their own choices about a particular situation they are in. For more information, you may contact the OIG WPC at WPC@fcc.gov.

The Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) 
MSPB has the authority to enforce OSC decisions and to order corrective and disciplinary actions. More information on whistleblower MSBP appeals is available at https://www.mspb.gov/appeals/whistleblower.htm.


Educational Resources