Experienced Legal Advocacy For Employment Law Matters

How does the law protect whistleblowers and leave them at risk?

On Behalf of | Oct 28, 2021 | Whistleblower Retaliation

Employment law covers many aspects of business, such as wrongful termination, wage and hour claims, and employer representation. Wrongful termination includes sexual harassment, employment discrimination, retaliation and whistleblowing in Princeton, New Jersey. Current whistleblower protection laws lack safety for federal employees.

The Whistleblower Protection Act

The Whistleblower Protection Act has been around since 1989. Under the current employment law, the WPA allows public employees the right to speak publicly about violations of laws, rules or regulations. Situations the WPA protects are a gross waste of funds, mismanagement, abuse of authority and dangers to the public. The additional rules requiring federal employees to blow the whistle on violations were from Executive Order 12731 in 1990.

Current Whistleblower Protection Act

The Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act has been around since 2012. Congress had the WPEA strengthen the protections for federal whistleblowers already in place. The WPEA and the Whistleblower Protection Ombudsman prohibit retaliation against a federal employee who discloses information. The original WPA didn’t protect whistleblowers who weren’t the first to bring up the issue. Whistleblowers could also lose protections after time passed.

Whistleblower Protection Laws in Intelligence Community

The intelligence community whistleblowers follow different rules than other federal or corporate employees. The original WPA only covers unspecified federal employees because of the risk of national security leaks. Whistleblowers in the corporate sector and various federal buildings have had expanded protections. There are several whistleblower protections for employees who hold classified information. Most of the protections are from the 2010s. The first protection for the intelligence community was from 1998, which allows whistleblowers to go to congress with urgent concerns. The employee must go to the inspector general, who determines if it’s urgent. The employee can talk to the congressional intelligence committee with permission from the National Intelligence Director.

The current whistleblower protections still have gaps even with all the updates over the decades. In 2020, there was a government operations hearing where officials highlighted protection improvements. Whistleblowers suffer from confidentiality lapses and violations of the Privacy Act.