Whistleblower is a term applied to an individual who discloses wrongdoing within an agency, to the media or to those in authority positions. Zuckerman Law – Employment and Whistleblower Law Firm is an excellent resource for this. The whistleblower is an individual, typically an employee, of mismanagement, dishonesty, illegality or some other misconduct in a government agency or private enterprise who allows a report to the public or to those in authority.
Whistleblower’s public interest has been gradually recognized since the 1960s. Federal and state laws and legislation that shield whistleblowers against various forms of retaliation have been passed. Even without a law, for purposes of public policy a number of decisions promote and shield whistleblowers. Additionally, the Federal False Claims Act (31 U.S.C.A. § 3729) protects a plaintiff filing a complaint against a company making a false allegation or committing fraud against the State.
People who perform the role of whistleblowers are often the target of their employers ‘ revenge. The contractor usually discharges the informant, who is often an employee on will. Employees at-will are individuals without a specific term of work. The employee can resign at any time and the employer shall have the right to terminate the employee without stating a cause. The courts and legislators, though, have been making protections for informants who are workers at will. Employees who blow the whistle on subjects that only concern private interests may generally fail to retain a basis for dismissal in breach of public policy. As a general rule, workers seeking to be fired for notification of internal corporate misconducts were ineffective in assessing exceptions to the at-will clause of public policy. It is also seen that internal company management complaints do not require public policy endorsing unfair termination cases.
Many jurisdictions have implemented whistleblower laws to shield and preserve the whistleblower’s rights, but those regulations vary widely in scope. Some laws appear only to refer to public employees, some apply to public and private employees and others apply to public employees and public agencies employees.