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Whistleblower Retaliation FAQ

What is whistleblower retaliation?

Whistleblower retaliation occurs when an employee with authority to do so takes or fails to take, or threatens to take or fail to take, a personnel action against another employee because such employee made a protected disclosure. 

What is a protected disclosure?

A protected disclosure is a disclosure that the employee believes evidences:

1. A violation of any law, rule, or regulation;

2. A gross waste of funds;

3. Gross mismanagement;

4. An abuse of authority; or

5. A substantial and specific danger to public health or safety.

What protections do Postal Service employees have against whistleblower retaliation?

Though the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 is not binding on the Postal Service, the Postal Service has voluntarily adopted many of its provisions, as well as those of the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2012. The Postal Service’s policy is contained in its Employee & Labor Relations Manual (ELM) Section 666.3. and the OIG has implemented these protections through its own internal policy.

The Inspector General Act Section 7(a) authorizes the OIG to investigate protected disclosures from employees. 

I am a Postal Service employee.  How do I file a whistleblower retaliation complaint with the Postal Service OIG?

The preferred method for filing a complaint with our office is to use our online complaint form

You can also send us your complaint by mail to: 
1735 North Lynn Street 
Arlington, VA 22209-2020

Does the Postal Service OIG investigate whistleblower retaliation complaints made by its own employees?

As ELM Section 666.31 states, “allegations of reprisal received from Office of Inspector General employees will be referred to an outside organization or individual for investigation.”