Senate Whistleblower Protection Caucus Recognizes Importance of Whistleblowers

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Mary Jane Wilmoth
National Whistleblower Center
P.O. Box 25074
Washington, D.C. 2002
(202) 342-1902
mjw@whistleblowers.org

Senate Whistleblower Protection Caucus Recognizes Importance of Whistleblowers

WASHINGTON - Yesterday, the bipartisan Senate Whistleblower Caucus introduced a resolution to designate July, 30, 2016, National Whistleblower Appreciation Day. If passed, this will be the fourth consecutive year the U.S. Senate has passed such a resolution.

The resolution encourages federal agencies to acknowledge employees who call attention to fraud waste and abuse and remind employees of their legal rights as whistleblowers. The designation of July 30 is to commemorate legislation passed by the Continental Congress on that date in 1778, which stated that government employees have a duty to report misconduct, fraud and other crimes in government to the appropriate authorities in a timely manner.

Senator Chuck Grassley, Chairman of the Senate Whistleblower Protection Caucus made the following statement:

“Long ago, our founders recognized that government needs honest and proactive employees to help ensure that it functions properly and efficiently. Our resolution reaffirms this idea and celebrates whistleblowers for their contributions to transparent and accountable government,” said.

Senator Ron Wyden, Vice-Chairman of the Senate Whistleblower Protection, added:

“Congress has an obligation to stand up for individuals who risk their jobs and reputations to shine a light on threats to public safety and wasted taxpayer dollars. Whistleblowers in far too many parts of the government continue to face retaliation for speaking out. The Whistleblower Caucus is committed to fighting for fair treatment for these brave individuals and we are asking our colleagues to join us in supporting this resolution.”

The resolution, which is cosponsored by all 14 members of the caucus, highlights the United States’ history of supporting whistleblowers. Similar public policies remain in place today, yet whistleblowers are frequent targets of retaliation from within their own agencies.

"Whistleblower Day commemorates America's first whistleblower law.  At the height of the Revolution, our Founding Fathers recognized the importance of whistleblowers in a democratic society.  Senator Grassley has played a key role in bringing together a truly bipartisan group of Senators to stand behind whistleblowers and celebrate their history and contributions.  We hope that the Senate Whistleblower Caucus will play a vital role in defending the False Claims Act and similar, highly effective whistleblower laws, and working toward a day when whistleblowers are thanked for their courage, not fired, blacklisted or worse," said Stephen M. Kohn, Executive Director of the National Whistleblower Center.

National Whistleblower Day was sparked by the re-discovery of America's first whistleblower law, enacted on July 30, 1778.  The rediscovery was based on original historical research first published in The Whistleblower's Handbook, written by Kohn.

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Since 1988, the NWC and attorneys associated with it have supported whistleblowers in the courts and before Congress and achieved victories for environmental protection, government contract fraud, nuclear safety and government and corporate accountability.

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