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whistleblower law Archives

Reacting to retaliation in the workplace

When an employee makes a complaint about discrimination or harassment in the workplace, they have the right to be protected from retaliation as a result. This means that they should not fear being punished in some way by their employer when their employer learns that they have made a complaint.

How the Whistleblower Protection Act applies to you

As a federal employee, you may witness actions that you know or believe to be wrongful or illegal. You would be doing the right thing by alerting the appropriate person or agency, such as senior management, the agency Inspector General, or Congress. However, in doing so, your employer could take unfavorable actions against you.

Recognizing discriminatory behaviors against whistleblowers

When people work for an employer they admire, chances are they hope to have a positive experience and without hazards, threats to their career or safety, or discriminatory behavior. Unfortunately, there are situations where an employer acts illegally or unprofessionally, with negative consequences for the customers, investors, and employees.

Companies often perform better due to whistleblowers

Many companies in D.C. fear whistleblowers. They believe that with one word in the wrong ear, a whistleblower can take down an entire company that was previously thriving. While whistleblowers certainly may do this, a CNBC article says that they also help their companies to perform better. But how?

Will my reputation suffer as a whistleblower?

A person who reveals troubling practices at their place or work, without regard for their own well-being, should be hailed as a hero. Sadly, this is not always the case. If a whistleblower at an organization isn't explicitly retaliated against, they're often subject to damaging accusations that can tarnish their reputation. Forbes explains why it's the duty of employers to create a culture where whistleblowers aren't unfairly targeted for their good deeds. 

Sarbanes-Oxley whistleblower retaliation decision

The U.S. Court of the Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently ruled on the employer's appeal of an $11 million verdict in a whistleblower retaliation case, Wadler v. Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. (9th Cir. Feb. 26, 2019). Mr. Wadler was an in-house attorney for a medical supplies company who investigated another employee's reports of potential bribery and other illegal practices in several foreign countries. His investigation confirmed some of these reports, and he also found additional problems, including unauthorized contracts that did not include compliance provisions under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (which prohibits bribery to get business in foreign countries). He reported his findings to the Board's Audit Committee in February 2013, which then hired an outside law firm to do an investigation. In June 2013, the law firm issued a report that purported to exonerate Bio-Rad, and Wadler was fired only three days later. Nonetheless, Bio-Rad paid the U.S. government $55 million to resolve its investigation of FCPA (bribery) issues in three of the four countries covered by Wadler's report.

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