Tester sponsors bill to strengthen whistleblower protections for service members
Senator’s bill protects survivors of military sexual assault from retaliation
(U.S. Senate) – Senator Jon Tester is sponsoring a bill to strengthen whistleblower protections and enhance safeguards for survivors of military sexual assault and other military members.
The Legal Justice for Servicemembers Act updates the Military Whistleblower Protection Act to better protect service members from retaliation after reporting instances of waste, fraud or abuse. Tester’s bill also includes language to protect military sexual assault survivors against retaliation for reporting they were sexually assaulted.
“Our military men and women should never be afraid to speak out for fear of retaliation,” Tester said. “This bill takes important steps to ensure service members are able to speak out against incidents of sexual assault, waste, fraud or other illegal activities without it unfairly tarnishing their military record or putting their job at risk.”
The Legal Justice for Servicemembers Act changes the burden of proof standards, provides service members the right to request an appeal hearing, requires the Defense Department to develop uniform procedures for conducting whistleblower investigations, and ensures service members have the same whistleblower protections as civilians.
Tester’s bill also improves the Board of Correction of Military Records’ procedures to provide service members seeking to correct errors or injustices in their military records better assistance throughout the cumbersome process.
Earlier this year Tester introduced the Ruth Moore Act to help survivors of military sexual assault access they benefits they deserve.