Grassley, others laud ‘burden of proof’ interpretation for whistleblowers

Grassley-090507-18363- 0032From Press Release


A bipartisan group of senators commended the Department of Labor, Administrative Review Board’s (ARB) interpretation of federal whistleblower protections provisions, clarifying the statutory burdens of proof in whistleblower cases. In two recent decisions, ARB found that employees should be allowed to have a fair chance to make their case before having to rebut an employer’s rationale for taking action against the employee.

In a letter to the Labor Secretary Thomas Perez, the senators wrote that the ARB’s interpretation of the requisite standards of proof for both the employee and the employer in Fordham v. Fannie Mae and Powers v. Union Pacific Railroad are consistent with the intent of Congress.

“A thorough and careful reading of the relevant legislative history amply demonstrates that Congress intended this bifurcated analysis in whistleblower cases to address patterns of retaliation in various industries and agencies and ultimately to ‘facilitate relief’ for whistleblowers,” the senators wrote.

Cosigners of the letter include senators Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Ron Wyden of Oregon, Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Mark Kirk of Illinois, Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin and Claire McCaskill of Missouri.

The letter may be read by clicking here.