National Whistleblower Day

Today, the United States Senate unanimously passed a resolution designating July 30, 2020, as “National Whistleblower Appreciation Day.” This is the eighth consecutive year in which Congress has recognized the day.

This year’s resolution was once again spearheaded by Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA), a longtime champion of whistleblowers and the Chairman of the Senate Whistleblower Protection Caucus.  The bipartisan resolution was cosponsored by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), John Boozman (R-AR), Gary Peters (D-MI), Mike Enzi (R-WY), Tom Carper (D-DE), Susan Collins (R-ME), Ed Markey (D-MA), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN).

July 30 is the chosen date due to its significance in American whistleblower history.  On July 30, 1778, the members of the Constitutional Congress unanimously passed the nation’s first whistleblower legislation.  The details of this history were recently uncovered by Stephen M. Kohn, a whistleblower attorney and Chairman of the National Whistleblower Center’s board, through his original research for The New Whistleblower’s Handbook.

The resolution calls upon all federal agencies to recognize National Whistleblower Appreciation Day by

“(A) informing employees, contractors working on behalf of the taxpayers of the United States, and members of the public about the legal right of a United States citizen to ‘blow the whistle’ to the appropriate authority by honest and good faith reporting of misconduct, fraud, misdemeanors, or other crimes; and

(B) acknowledging the contributions of whistleblowers to combating waste, fraud, abuse, and violations of laws and regulations of the United States.”

Additionally, a week-long series of events leading up to National Whistleblower Day will be held virtually, starting Tuesday, July 28.  The events will include panels and seminars led by political and agency leaders as well as other events hosted by whistleblowers and whistleblower advocacy groups.  Sen. Grassley, Inspector General of the Department of Justice Michael Horowitz, a COVID-19 nurse whistleblower, a police whistleblower, and others will be making remarks throughout the week.  For more information on the summit and registration for specific events, visit the National Whistleblower Day 2020 website.