The Whistleblower Protection Act
The Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 is a federal law that protects whistleblowers who work for the United States government and want to report illegal, unethical action within their workplace. Specifically, it protects employees from retaliation from their employers: termination, threats, or other unethical action. Any abuse of power within the workplace justifies a whistleblowing complaint. This includes misuse of funds, corruption within the establishment, danger to one’s public health or safety, fraud, and gross mismanagement.
The Supreme Court has ruled that the protection offered to employees under the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 only applies when their disclosure of information is not related directly to their job’s duties. Because of this clause, the majority of whistleblower complaints made through the government that reach the higher courts are disregarded. This flaw within the law can often lead to years of gridlock or even complete disregard for federal complaints about government agencies.
Job-related complaints must go through the bureaucratic hierarchy of superiors in order to gain recognition for government employees, often to no avail. Unfortunately, government employees who wish to blow the whistle on illegal action that involves their personal position within the workplace will meet a wall of resistance fortified by government bureaucracy. In order to put an end to wrongdoing, it is crucial to pursue other mean of legal action.
The Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2012 and Presidential Policy Directive 19 were ordered by President Obama to increase the protection of whistleblowers that had previously been neglected under the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 and the Supreme Court. The increases apply specifically to government employees who work within intelligence and national security. More options are now open to those who work in some of the most sensitive areas of U.S. Government.