Whistleblower's Handbook

Internationally recognized whistleblower attorney and NWC Executive Director Stephen M. Kohn is planning to release a fully updated version of The Whistleblower’s Handbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Doing What’s Right and Protecting Yourself in early 2017.  First published in 2011, The Whistleblower’s Handbook is the first-ever consumer guide to whistleblowing. It sets forth twenty-one basic rules every potential whistleblower needs to know. The PEN Center USA* chose The Whistleblower’s Handbook as one of “The Top Ten Books About Whistleblowers.” The highly acclaimed guide to blowing the whistle is the only consumer resource book named to the list.

Continue Reading

On July 30, 2014, by a unanimous resolution the U.S. Senate declared July 30 as “National Whistleblower Appreciation Day” for the second year in row.   The resolution comes on the anniversary of the first ever whistleblower protection law enacted on July 30, 1778.

Stephen M. Kohn, Executive Director of the National Whistleblower Center, first discovered the importance of this date to whistleblowers.  Fifteen years ago, while conducting research for an amicus brief filed by the NWC supporting the constitutionality of the False Claims Act, Kohn discovered a resolution passed by the Continental Congress. The resolution, enacted on July 30, 1778, can be considered the world’s first whistleblower law.  Kohn then carefully researched why our Founding Fathers enacted the resolution, and learned the details of America’s first whistleblower case.  He reviewed the letters the whistleblowers wrote in jail pleading their case to the revolutionary Congress.  He obtained from the National Archives a copy of the check the Continental Congress wrote to Sam Adams, honoring Congress’ agreement to pay the costs of the whistleblowers’ defense. 
Continue Reading

Today is National Whistleblower Appreciation Day.  On this day in 1778 the Continental Congress passed what very well could be the world’s first whistleblower law.  Our revolutionary forefathers, when they learned that two whistleblowers that had exposed misconduct by the highest-ranking U.S. naval official, were being prosecuted in the State of Rhode Island, agreed to act.  They voted to spend precious monies from the new government’s treasury to ensure that the whistleblowers had lawyers to defend them.  They voted to release all of the naval records documenting the whistleblower’s concerns.

Finally, the Founding Fathers, on July 30, 1778 passed our nation’s first whistleblower law.  It’s message was clear and the vote was unanimous:  “That it is the duty of all persons in the service of the United States, as well as all other inhabitants thereof, to give the earliest information to Congress or any other proper authority of any misconduct, frauds or misdemeanors committed by any persons in the service of these states, which may come to their knowledge.

The history behind this historic day was lost.  However, fifteen years ago, when the National Whistleblower Center’s Executive Director Stephen Kohn was researching materials for an amicus brief filed by the NWC supporting the constitutionality of the False Claims Act, he discovered this law.    
Continue Reading

Last year the U.S. Senate declared July 30, 2013 as “National Whistleblower Appreciation Day.”

“In honor of ‘National Whistleblower Appreciation Day’ we call upon the President of the United States, and every public institution in the United States, to publicly celebrate the courage and sacrifices whistleblowers have made to American democracy, and to widely publish the words enacted by our Founding Fathers on July 30, 1778:

That it is the duty of all persons in the service of the United States, as well as all other the inhabitants thereof, to give the earliest information to Congress or other proper authority of ay misconduct, frauds or misdemeanors committed by any officers or persons in the service of these states, which may come to their knowledge.’” 

The history behind the Founding Fathers’ support of whistleblowers was buried in the records of the
Continental Congress for over 200 years, and was only rediscovered as part of the research behind the book, The Whistleblower’s Handbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Doing What’s Right and Protecting Yourself (3rd Ed. 2013, Lyons Press).   
Continue Reading

On July 25, 2011, one of the nation’s leading whistleblower attorneys, Stephen M. Kohn, will share compelling insights from his newly-released book, The Whistleblower’s Handbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Doing What’s Right and Protecting Yourself at the Mid-Manhattan New York Public Library. The author talk and book signing will be hosted by “Author @ the Library,” from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm.
Continue Reading

Stephen M. Kohn, Executive Director of the National Whistleblowers Center (NWC), published an op-ed article in today’s New York Times.The article tells the story of Captain John Grannis, and nine other sailors of the Continental Navy. The full story is contained in The Whistleblower’s Handbook. The actual documents from the Continental Congress are