It's been a week since our last post, and a lot has happened in the world of whistleblower protection since then. Here are some of the high (and low) lights:
- ITS OFFICIAL! The CPSC Reform Act (HR.4040/S.2663) will contain strong whistleblower protections for private sector employees who report safety violations to their managers or through the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The President is expected to sign the measure within the next week, and it will protect over 20 million employees.
The New York Times published this August 5 editorial calling for the President's prompt signature.
- David Welch, who was the first whistleblower to obtain protection under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, was denied reinstatement by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, VA this week. This is a terrible result for Welch, who has been battling his former employer for over 7 years, and a bad precedent for Sarbanes-Oxley whistleblowers. Of nearly 1,000 SOX whistleblower complaints, not one whistleblower has been victorious in court.
More information can be found about this case at the Workplace Prof's blog.
- Here is an interesting story about Georgia Senator Saxby Chambliss and his rough treatment of a sugar plant whistleblower during a Senate hearing. It seems that Sen. Chambliss is blaming the whistleblower, company VP Graham H. Graham, for an explosion at his plant which killed 13 workers on February 7.
Interestingly, it appears that Graham had only been working at the plant several weeks before the explosion, during which he had reported safety violations and was rebuffed by superiors. Also, the company, Imperial, is among Chambliss' campaign contributors.
- DoD contractor Pratt&Whitney has settled a False Claims Act suit, and over $52 million will be returned to US Taxpayers. The company was accused of manufacturing faulty engine parts for Airforce fighter jets which caused the june 2003 crash of an F-16. The company is also replacing parts for over 50,000 aircraft at its own expense.