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Whistleblower Law Blog

The Employment Law Group® Law Firm Prevails in Appeal of Whistleblower Protection Act Case

In Drake v. Agency for International Development, the Federal Circuit held that the Merit Systems Protection Board (“MSPB”) erred in concluding that Drake’s disclosures were not protected under the Whistleblower Protection Act (“WPA”).  Drake, a Foreign Service Investigator with the U.S. Agency for International Development (“Agency”), alleged that he was retaliated against for blowing the whistle about agency personnel consuming alcohol while on duty. 

The MSPB held that Drake’s disclosures were not protected under the WPA because Drake could not prove that the behavior he observed was a result of intoxication.  The Federal Circuit reversed, concluding that the standard for determining whether an employee’s disclosure is protected under the WPA is “not whether [the employee] was able to prove [a violation], but rather could a disinterested observer with knowledge of the essential facts known to and readily ascertainable by [the employee] reasonably conclude that agency personnel were [engaged in] a violation.”  Finding that Drake had a reasonable belief that agency personnel were intoxicated, the Federal Circuit remanded the case to the MSPB.

Mr. Drake is represented by R. Scott Oswald and Nicholas Woodfield of The Employment Law Group® law firm.  For more information about The Employment Law Group® law firm’s whistleblower practice and the Whistleblower Protection act, click here.

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