On October 3, 2018, the National Whistleblower Center (“NWC”) filed an amicus curiae brief in support of Brandon Eller, an Idaho State Police (“ISP”) detective who blew the whistle on the cover-up of another deputy’s dangerous actions. While Eller received a jury reward for his actions, he has been denied funds for the emotional damages that he suffered as a direct result of ISP’s retaliatory actions.
When it became known that Eller had blown the whistle on a fellow deputy, he was subjected to severe retaliation including, attacks on his character and retaliation on the job which disrupted his family life and caused illness. The retaliation he suffered affected his career and his livelihood.
In its “friend-of-the-court” brief, the NWC argued that the Idaho Protection of Public Employees Act “must be interpreted broadly to fully compensate plaintiffs and thereby enhance responsible whistleblowing activity directed toward ensuring integrity in the operation of the public-sector workplace.”
“Whistleblowers who bravely step forward with crucial information on fraud, corruption, and other bad behavior unfortunately regularly have to contend with retaliation,” said whistleblower attorney Stephen M. Kohn, executive director of the NWC and a founding partner at Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto.
“Retaliation causes an enormous emotional toll on the whistleblower and they should not be limited to recovering only economic damages. Awarding whistleblowers damages for emotional distress has been shown to encourage others to come forward with crucial information about fraud and misconduct,” explained Kohn.
Read the NWC’s brief here.