Although there is no doubt that the Trump administration made clear that it is not going to retaliate against whistleblowers, it’s crucial to remember that the law doesn’t provide any specific protections for whistleblowers. Although the government is accountable for any penalties related to the actions of whistleblowers however, a whistleblower doesn’t require first-hand knowledge of a violation of law to be protected in the eyes of law.
Whistleblowers shouldn’t be scared to divulge confidential information to their employer as provided they comply with the laws that are in place to safeguard the source. However, whistleblowers must be aware that they might need to disclose information to their employer to follow-up on an incident. Additionally, whistleblowers need to be aware of their identity as the whistleblower could be recognized by coworkers. The federal government offers various protections for whistleblowers. However the particulars of these laws are different.
The legislation adds the existing laws on protection of whistleblowers. For instance it is the MSPB acts as an quasi-judicial institution which has the power to enforce personnel policies that are prohibited and is able to reimburse legal fees in certain instances. In addition, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission takes into consideration issues of discrimination. This includes race, gender and discrimination against disabled people. Finally, whistleblowers should mention the possibility of receiving financial compensation as a result of their decision.
Although federal employees are protected by the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 However, whistleblowers need to be aware of Federal laws and rules safeguard employees who speak out about fraud, waste or any illegal act. Federal whistleblowers’ complaints could be examined in the Office of Special Counsel. The MSPB is an independent executive agency with the power to enforce rulings and take corrective disciplining actions. In certain instances the MSPB may even request reinstatement of workers suspended or revoke worker dispatch contracts.
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (D-F-W-R-CA) which established an anti-retaliation law for whistleblowers, has added safeguards to whistleblowers. Based on the situation the whistleblower can request double the amount of back pay or reinstatement, as well as reasonable attorneys fees, as well as litigation costs. The Act creates a global and regional system that can safeguard whistleblowers.
The UNCAC Coalition’s reports are essential in the advocacy and the passage legislation for whistleblowers. The advocacy work of UNCAC national chapters has played an important part in the passing of new laws protecting whistleblowers that have been passed in Australia, Italy, Greece, Ireland, Lithuania, and Kenya. Alongside making sure whistleblowers are given the appropriate lawful protections, they promote greater transparency and accountability among corporate and government agencies.