Can employers use confidentiality agreements to block fraud reporting?

Ongoing congressional investigation of U.S. military contractor KBR raises the question of whether government contractors can use confidentiality agreements to prevent staff from disclosing allegations of waste, fraud, or abuse to government agencies, Congress or inspectors general, Stars and Stripes reported. Attorneys for a whistleblower suing KBR and its parent company, Halliburton, say confidentiality agreements (and the possibility of employment termination for breaking them) violate the False Claims Act and other laws protecting whistleblowers. The companies denied the allegations and filed motions to dismiss the case, the article noted. Lawmakers requested KBR's records of complaints received since 2002, including copies of confidentiality agreements and policies on their use. Congress also requested documentation of actions taken to investigate complaints and information on their resolution. Article