A few weeks ago, an important whistleblower protection proposal was passed by the Senate's Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI). These protections are detailed in the Intelligence Authorization Act for the 2014 fiscal year. This committee passage represents an important development in the area of workers' rights. For while many workers are protected by law when they seek to file whistleblower claims, intelligence workers have not consistently been granted access to this set of legal protections.
One year ago, the SSCI restored whistleblower provisions within the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act (WPEA) that apply specifically to workers within the intelligence community. However, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) then demanded that these provisions be removed from the active legislation. Their efforts were successful, because at the time the committee's threats that it would block wider whistleblower rights for all federal employees seemed viable.