H.R. 657 – Follow the Rules Act

WASHINGTON, DC–June 22, 2017–The White House signed into the ” Follow the Rules Act.” The legislative text is below.

H.R. 657 – Follow the Rules Act

To amend title 5, United States Code, to extend certain protections against prohibited personnel practices, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the “Follow the Rules Act”.

SEC. 2. PROHIBITED PERSONNEL ACTION BASED ON ORDERING INDIVIDUAL TO VIOLATE RULE OR REGULATION.

(a) In General.—Subparagraph (D) of section 2302(b)(9) of title 5, United States Code, is amended by inserting “, rule, or regulation” after “law”.

(b) Technical Correction.—Such subparagraph is further amended by striking “for”.

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Here is the press release explaining what the law does. It was generated by Representative Sean Duffy.

Duffy & Connolly Bill Offers Additional Protections for Whistleblowers

Sep 28, 2016 News

H.R. 6186, Follow the Rules Act

Washington D.C. – Representatives Sean Duffy (WI-07) and Gerry Connolly (VA-11) introduced a bill to extend whistleblower protections for Federal employees who refuse to violate rules and regulations. This bill comes on the heels of a landmark Federal court decision that found that the Whistleblower Protection Act safeguards Federal workers against employment retaliation for refusing orders to violate Federal law, but those same safeguards do not apply to employees who refuse to violate rules and regulations, despite the fact that rules and regulations are supposed to be derived of law. The Follow the Rules Act will address this glaring inconsistency.

Upon introduction of the bill, Rep. Duffy offered: “Whistleblowers play a key role in rooting out the bad actors who stand in the way of good government. However, a gap in whistleblower protections is threatening their ability to stand-up for what is right.”

Rep. Duffy continued: “The Whistleblower Protection Act provides Federal workers with certain legal safeguards to disclose if they are being asked to break a law, but the same protections do not apply to those who are ordered to violate rules and regulations. The Follow the Rules Act fixes the law to fill this wide gap. I thank Representative Connolly for joining me in this effort, and am glad to see that it has already drawn strong bipartisan support from several of our colleagues.”

Rep. Connolly added: “I’m proud to join with Rep. Sean Duffy to support federal whistleblowers and improve management practices across the federal government. The Follow the Rules Act will close a loophole that undermines whistleblower protections for federal employees. Federal employees who defy a supervisor’s direction to violate rules and regulations should not be subject to retaliation. This bill continues the bipartisan effort to fight whistleblower retaliation in the federal government and strengthen federal employee protections.”

An example of the kind of rules and regulations Federal employees should follow: Consider sanctions against North Korea, which Congress directed the President to promulgate in the form of Federal rules and regulations. Under current law, Federal employees who are told by their supervisor(s) to violate North Korean sanctions have no whistleblower protections. The Follow the Rules Act would fix this and should be considered by Congress.

Reference Links:

White House Executive Action Notice

Rep Sean Duffy Press Release

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