S. Amir Kohan

Whistleblowing

It is important to highlight the issue of whistleblowing. Protections against retaliation are embedded in various laws we cover in this chapter; laws with those provisions and protections include the Civil Rights Acts, OSHA, MSHA, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, ADA, and more.

Whistleblower laws usually apply to public-sector employees and employees of organizations contracting with the federal government or state governments. They are designed to protect individuals who publicly disclose information about corrupt practices or illegal activities within their employer’s organization. Often, such events occur when someone is mishandling money, contracts, or other assets. Construction projects not being built to specifications can result in whistleblowing by governmental employees. Employees of financial services companies (banks, credit unions, stock brokerages, and investment firms) have been in the headlines during recent years. They uncovered and disclosed misbehavior among people in their companies and were protected under whistleblower provisions of various laws. Whistleblowers are protected from disciplinary action, termination, or another penalty. For more information, see www.osc.gov/documents/pubs/post_wb.htm.


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