As seen in the recent Netflix documentary Meltdown: Three Mile Island, whistleblowers may have prevented a Chernobyl-style accident—threatening a multi-year East Coast evacuation—by warning about brazen nuclear safety violations resulting from corporate shortcuts that the government oversight agency chose to disregard.
It does not matter whether the issue is nuclear power, economic recovery, prescription drug safety, environmental protection, infrastructure spending, election security, or foreign policy. Whistleblowers are the best weapon to fight abuses of power that betray the public trust.
Whistleblowers are essential to a functional and informed democracy and an accountable government, but they don’t have the protection they deserve.
The current law that protects the rights of federal employees to disclose waste, fraud, abuse and threats to public health and safety is dangerously weak. Federal employees are vulnerable to retaliation at a time when the public needs information provided by whistleblowers more than ever.
This year there are multiple opportunities to strengthen protections for the courageous workers who we depend on to enforce our laws and protect the public’s interests:
- The Whistleblower Protection Improvement Act, H.R. 2988, originally part of the Protecting Our Democracy Act, H.R. 5314, would finally protect federal employees targeted in retaliatory investigations, provide a fair chance for temporary relief in cases that commonly take years to resolve, and give them access to juries to defend themselves, like the rest of the American labor force.
- The COVID-19 Whistleblower Protection Act, H.R. 846 and S.268, not only would close the accountability loopholes but would protect contractors as well as their employees against all forms of retaliation.
- The Special Inspector General for Law Enforcement Act, H.R. 6762, would end the practice of local police departments investigating themselves and provide comprehensive protection not only for police from the local to federal level, but for victims, citizen witnesses, or anyone else who provides evidence.
- The Department of Energy and Nuclear Regulatory Commission Whistleblower Protection Act, S. 2896, would override a legal technicality that has canceled due process protection for government whistleblowers in the existing nuclear safety law.
- The Whistleblower Protection Reform Act, S.3877 and H.R. 5485, would protect the 96% of corporate whistleblowers who raise concerns internally.
- The FTC Whistleblower Act, H.R. 6093, would protect those who challenge big tech, big agriculture, and violations of consumer rights enforced by the Federal Trade Commission.
Add your name to this petition to support better protections for the whistleblowers who protect all of us.