Whistleblowing (West's Encyclopedia of American Law)
The disclosure by a person, usually an employee in a government agency or private enterprise, to the public or to those in authority, of mismanagement, corruption, illegality, or some other wrongdoing.
Since the 1960s, the public value of whistle-blowing has been increasingly recognized. For example, federal and state statutes and regulations have been enacted to protect whistleblowers from various forms of retaliation. Even without a statute, numerous decisions encourage and protect whistleblowing on grounds of public policy. In addition, the federal False Claims Act (31 U.S.C.A. § 3729) will reward a whistleblower who brings a lawsuit against a company that makes a false claim or commits FRAUD against the government.
Persons who act as whistleblowers are often the subject of retaliation by their employers. Typically the employer will discharge the whistleblower, who is often an at-will employee. An at-will employee is a person without a specific term of employment. The employee may quit at any time and the employer has the right to fire the employee without having to cite a reason. However, courts and legislatures have created exceptions for whistleblowers who are at-will employees.
Whistleblowing statutes protect from discharge or discrimination an employee who has initiated an investigation of an employer's activities or who has...
(The entire section is 1197 words.)
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