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Category Archives: Whistleblower FAQ

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Whistleblowers Beware: Your Work Computer Is Probably Monitored

Posted in Corporate Whistleblowers, Environmental Whistleblowers, FBI Whistleblower Blog, FBI Whistleblowers, FDA Whistleblowers, Government Whistleblowers, Tax Whistleblowers, Trucker whistleblowers, Whistleblower FAQ, Wildlife Crime Whistleblowers
Before Blowing the Whistle, Make Sure to Secure Your Tech PrivacyPicture this: while at work you become aware of conduct that you believe is unethical, illegal, or qualifies as government waste, fraud, or abuse. You decide you want to blow the whistle. But before you act, be careful! Most corporate and government networks log traffic. Your work computer and phone are not private. When you use a company or department… Continue Reading

Rule 2: Navigating the Maze

Posted in Handbook, Whistleblower FAQ
the Whistleblower’s HandbookPart of the “Quick Peek” Series, exploring the NEW edition of Stephen Kohn‘s Whistleblower’s Handbook.         Stephen M. Kohn, Executive Director of the National Whistleblower Center and author of the Whistleblower’s Handbook, asserts that the history of whistleblower laws stems from an attempt to answer the question: “What to do if the boss is a crook?” Many employees see corrupt practices… Continue Reading

Rule 3: Follow the Money

Posted in Handbook, Whistleblower FAQ
the Whistleblower’s HandbookPart of the “Quick Peek” Series, exploring the NEW edition of Stephen Kohn‘s Whistleblower’s Handbook. Stephen Kohn, Executive Director of the National Whistleblower Center (NWC), underscores that “the single most important rule for whistleblowers is very simple: Follow the money.” Whistleblowing can be a long and difficult road, so before embarking on the journey potential whistleblowers should make sure they… Continue Reading

“The Garcetti Virus” and an erosion of whistleblower’s rights

Posted in Corporate Whistleblowers, Government Whistleblowers, Legislation, Whistleblower FAQ
In Nancy M. Modesitt’s recent research article “The Garcetti Virus,” she explains how a doctrine known as the job duties exclusion has come to erode protections once afforded to whistleblowers. She explains that this doctrine allows the discharge of an individual who discovers illegal activities while performing his or her job and then reports those issues to a supervisor. Although… Continue Reading

DC high court says there is no “safe harbor” for retaliation

Posted in Corporate Whistleblowers, Whistleblower FAQ
In a long-awaited ground-breaking decision, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals today held that an employer engages in unlawful retaliation when it adds a new demand for a release as a condition for concluding a consulting agreement. The case is Propp v. Counterpart International and LeLaulu, No. 07-CV-988 (D.C. Mar. 8, 2012). Counterpart International is a nonprofit development organization.… Continue Reading

Supreme Court ducks conflict on Garcetti

Posted in Government Whistleblowers, Whistleblower FAQ
This morning, the Supreme Court declined to hear two cases that raise a conflict among the circuits about whether the First Amendment protects government employees who refuse to make false statements.  The Court denied petitions for certiorari by David Bowie, a former official of the District of Columbia (DC) Office of Inspector General (OIG), and by Matthew Byrne, Police Chief… Continue Reading

NLRB agrees that employees cannot waive right to class actions

Posted in Corporate Whistleblowers, News, Whistleblower FAQ
This week, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a major decision holding that employees have an inalienable right to bring collective and class action lawsuits. The National Whistleblowers Center (NWC) joined with the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA) and other groups in an amicus brief to urge the NLRB to reach this decision. This long-recognized right of employees to… Continue Reading

Major Victory for Whistleblowers in Seventh Circuit Says Retaliation is a RICO Violation

Posted in Corporate Whistleblowers, Tax Whistleblowers, Whistleblower FAQ
In a landmark ruling in favor of corporate whistleblowers, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit gave the green light to Michael DeGuelle’s RICO claim of retaliation. The court’s opinion gives life to a provision in the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) that makes it a felony to retaliate against whistleblowers who provide information about corporate fraud to law… Continue Reading

Whistleblowers Handbook, Second Edition, is released today

Posted in Corporate Whistleblowers, Environmental Whistleblowers, False Claims / Qui Tam, FBI Whistleblowers, Government Whistleblowers, News, Publications and Resources, Tax Whistleblowers, Whistleblower FAQ
The NWC is proud to announce the release of the second edition of The Whistleblower’s Handbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Doing What’s Right and Protecting Yourself. This second edition includes a new 20–page checklist on the procedures for obtaining Dodd-Frank Act rewards from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The checklist covers the SEC’s regulations that went into effect on… Continue Reading

Supreme Court protects whistleblower’s family from retaliation

Posted in Corporate Whistleblowers, Whistleblower FAQ
Today the Supreme Court issued a landmark decision that prohibits employers from retaliating against a whistleblower’s family members or other associates. The decision in Thompson v. North American Stainless LP is unanimous, and reverses an en banc decision of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, Ohio. The decision makes clear that victims of retaliation do not have to… Continue Reading

NELA to host webinar on new whistleblower remedies

Posted in Corporate Whistleblowers, Events, False Claims / Qui Tam, Legislation, Whistleblower FAQ
The National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA) has scheduled a webinar called Using New Developments In Whistleblower Laws To Your Client’s Advantage.  It will be on March 10, 2011, 11:00 am Pacific, 2:00 pm Eastern. This 90-minute webinar will address new developments in whistleblower law, including recent decisions strengthening the rights of federal employee whistleblowers. Speakers will include Tom Devine of… Continue Reading

Obama Signs Landmark Whistleblower Protections in Food Safety Act

Posted in Corporate Whistleblowers, Department of Labor, Healthcare, Legislation, Pharmaceuticals, Whistleblower FAQ
Today, President Obama signed the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (H.R. 2571), which contains landmark whistleblower protections for food safety employees. Highlights of the Food Safety Whistleblower Provision:   Covers all employers "engaged in the manufacture, processing, packing, transportation, distribution, reception, holding or importation of food;" Allows workers have their case heard before a jury in federal court; Provides for… Continue Reading

Amicus briefs address OSHA complaints and protected activity

Posted in Corporate Whistleblowers, Department of Labor, Environmental Whistleblowers, Trucker whistleblowers, Whistleblower FAQ
My colleague, Stephen M. Kohn (Executive Director of the National Whistleblowers Center) and I spent New Year’s Eve racing the clock to file two friend-of-the-court "amicus" briefs with the Department of Labor’s Administrative Review Board (ARB). Last November, the ARB issued an invitation to file amicus briefs to address a series of questions about the requirements for valid whistleblower complaints.… Continue Reading

Food safety bill will create new whistleblower protection; our patchwork has one less hole

Posted in Corporate Whistleblowers, Department of Labor, Healthcare, Legislation, Whistleblower FAQ
Yesterday the U.S. Senate passed the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), S. 510. It passed with strong bipartisan support.  The final vote was 73 to 25. My friend Jason Zuckerman has written a detailed analysis of FSMA’s new whistleblower protection. Those who need the details about the scope and legal requirements for FSMA whistleblower claims should read Jason’s analysis.… Continue Reading

DOL issues new regulations for whistleblower cases

Posted in Department of Labor, Legislation, Trucker whistleblowers, Whistleblower FAQ
Today the Department of Labor has issued new regulations for whistleblower claims under four new laws. These laws include two laws included in the 2007 law that adopted recommendations of the 9/11 Commission, the National Transit Systems Security Act (NTSSA) and the Federal Railroad Safety Act (FRSA). This law also updated provisions of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act (STAA) which… Continue Reading

EEOC guidance on severance agreements

Posted in Whistleblower FAQ
The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued a new guidance on what is legal and advisable for severance agreements. As more and more Americans face layoffs, this new guidance is most timely. Of particular interest for whistleblowers, the EEOC guidance makes clear that, "no agreement between you and your employer can limit your right to testify, assist, or… Continue Reading

OSHA Whistleblower Fact Sheets

Posted in Whistleblower FAQ
The Department of Labor administers some federal whistleblower laws, and through The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has made available the following fact sheets. General Whistleblower Protections Whistleblower Protections and the Environment Whistleblower Protection for Employees in the Transportation Sector Whistleblower Protection for Trucking Employees Whistleblower Protection for Employees in the Aviation Industry Whistleblower Protection for Railroad Employees Whistleblowers… Continue Reading

General Whistleblower FAQ

Posted in Whistleblower FAQ
What laws cover the alleged retaliation? The first step in reviewing a whistleblower claim is to determine what statutes or common law actions may provide a remedy. A case may be covered under more than one whistleblower protection provision. Depending upon whom one works for and in which state one is employed, the nature and scope of whistleblower protection is… Continue Reading

False Claims Act / Qui Tam FAQ

Posted in False Claims / Qui Tam, Whistleblower FAQ
Warning regarding litigation under the False Claims Act The False Claims Act has one of the strongest whistleblower protection provisions in the United States. However, it has many complicated components and requirements which can harm any person that pursues such a claim without counsel. Due to the potential for a significant financial recovery, it is usually possible to retain an… Continue Reading

Freedom of Information Act FAQ

Posted in Freedom of Information (FOIA), Whistleblower FAQ
What is the Freedom of Information Act? FOIA, also known as 5 U.S.C. 522, was passed in 1966 and amended in 1974. It allows the public better access to government records. With these records, the public can find out what the government knows about them and what types of policies agencies use to govern the public. FOIA is a valuable… Continue Reading

Nuclear Whistleblowers FAQ

Posted in Department of Labor, Whistleblower FAQ
What Federal Laws Protect Nuclear Whistleblowers? Whistleblowers in the nuclear power and nuclear weapons industries are specifically protected under section 211 of the Energy Reorganization Act. Who Is Protected? Private sector employees and federal employees working for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission or the Department of Energy. Who Can File a Complaint? Any employee who believes he or she has been… Continue Reading

Environmental Whistleblowers FAQ

Posted in Department of Labor, Environmental Whistleblowers, Whistleblower FAQ
What Federal Laws Protect Environmental Whistleblowers? Seven major federal environmental laws (Clean Air, Toxic Substances, Clean Water, Atomic Energy, Solid Waste, Safe Drinking Water and Superfund) have special provisions protecting employee whistleblowers. Who Is Protected? Almost any private sector or federal employee can be protected. Who Can File a Complaint? Any employee who believes he or she has been discriminated… Continue Reading

Sarbanes-Oxley FAQ

Posted in Corporate Whistleblowers, Whistleblower FAQ
What Federal laws protect whistleblowers who report corporate fraud? In 2002, Congress passed the historic Sarbanes-Oxley Act which protects employees of publicly traded companies who report violations of Securities and Exchange Commission regulations or any provision of federal law relating to fraud against the shareholders. Who is protected? Employees of publicly traded companies and contractors, subcontractors, and agencies of publicly… Continue Reading