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What is the whistleblower protection program?

| May 18, 2018 | Employment Law for Employees |

Employees, no matter the type of industry they work in, have work tasks that they need to complete. As these are related to their job, employees are very willing to complete these tasks. However, some employees are either asked to complete or observe conduct that may not be part of their job task, even causing them to question the legality of these actions. When employees see these acts, they might be compelled to speak up; however, they are also likely fearful about what might happen to them for making such a claim. This is known as blowing the whistle, and whistleblower acts have been established for these exact reasons.

What is the whistleblower protection program? This program was initially established as a means to ensure that employees and applicants that disclose or allege serious wrongdoings or gross mismanagement are protected from reprisal for their disclosures. With regards to current and former federal employees and applicant, the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 covers the five types of disclosures of wrongdoings. This includes a violation of any law, rule or regulation, mismanagement, a gross waste of funds, an abuse of authority or a substantial and specific danger to public heath or safety.

Employees that report these violations are just the reporting party. They are not investigators. Thus, protection can be used to keep their name form being disclosed; however, this protection is not absolute. Thus, if an employer is aware of who the reporting party is and retaliates against them for making such disclosures, it is possible for the employee to use the protection of this act to take action for the retaliatory acts and the harm caused by them.

Those retaliated against for blowing the whistle should understand their rights. This could mean holding the retaliatory party responsible for this unlawful act and also recovering damages for the harms suffered from this situation.