When Dr. Frederic Whitehurst initially blew the whistle on the systemic forensic fraud in the FBI crime lab, he could never have known it was the start of a lifelong fight for government accountability.
At a meeting last week, the Chemical Safety Board (CSB) announced that it would reverse its recommendation to institute whistleblower protections to workers on offshore oil rigs. This unfortunate turn will be bad for workers, destructive to the environment, and quite possibly even harmful to the energy industry. Continue Reading
SEC anticipates paying an additional $221 million to whistleblowers in FY2018.
Washington, DC, November 16, 2017. The Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of the Whistleblower issued its annual report today. The Commission confirmed that “whistleblowers have provided tremendous value to its enforcement efforts and significantly helped investors.” It also confirmed that whistleblower disclosures have “directly” contributed to “hundreds of millions of dollars returned to investors.” Continue Reading
Washington, D.C. November 15, 2017. Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) has put forth two amendments to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Bill that are important to whistleblowers.
The major amendment addresses an issue that has been the subject of previous posts, defining the term “collected proceeds” in I.R.C. section 7623(b). The IRS and Department of Justice have taken the position whistleblowers who report criminal tax frauds, such as the numerous crimes committed by the largest Swiss banks, cannot obtain a whistleblower reward. They have argued that whistleblower rewards should not be paid on any criminal fines. Continue Reading
To this day, Congress has not passed a comprehensive whistleblower protection law. Unlike other areas of employment law, such as federal laws prohibiting race, sex, or age discrimination, there is no uniform national law to provide understandable rules and procedures for blowing the whistle on your employer.
The 2002 Enron scandal drew global attention and Sherron Watkins became forever known as the Enron whistleblower. Speaking at National Whistleblower Day earlier this year, she praised the crucial role whistleblowers play in demanding transparency and accountability from our corporations and government, and recognized the incredible progress made in whistleblower protections since the collapse of Enron.
Dissenting judges decry “denial of due process” for FBI whistleblowers.
October 26, 2017. Washington, D.C. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, sitting en banc, ruled against veterans who are employed at the Federal Bureau of Investigation and are fired for blowing the whistle. The case is known as Parkinson v. Department of Justice. In a major setback for veterans and whistleblowers at the FBI, the majority opinion held that FBI employees like John Parkinson, who have rights to challenge a termination from the FBI before the Merit Systems Protection Board cannot raise whistleblowing as an affirmative defense before the MSPB as other employees are permitted to do. Continue Reading
On Tuesday, October 17, 2017, Senator Charles Grassley and the Securities and Exchange Commission joined the National Whistleblower Center in supporting the whistleblower in Digital Realty Trust v. Somers (No. 16-1276) by filing amicus briefs with the U.S. Supreme Court. Continue Reading
The fate of corporate whistleblowers and compliance programs is on the line as the U.S. Supreme Court reviews the case of Digital Realty Trust V. Somers. At issue in this case is whether whistleblowers who report potential violations within their organizations, as opposed to reporting directly to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), are protected under the Dodd-Frank Act (DFA).
As part of our #GivingTuesday campaign, we will be sharing several whistleblower stories from this year’s National Whistleblower Day celebration. Dr. Tommie “Toni” Savage told her personal story as a whistleblower who exposed corruption within the Army Corps of Engineers. It was a nightmare ordeal for Savage and her family who still continue to face the aftermath today. But her case led to a momentous victory for federal whistleblowers across the country. Watch the video of her speech.