On July 10, a bipartisan group of Senators introduced a resolution designating July 30, 2023 as National Whistleblower Appreciation Day. The Senate has unanimously passed a resolution honoring the day each year since 2013.
Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Ron Wyden (D-OR), co-chairs of the Whistleblower Protection Caucus, led a group of 20 Senators in introducing the resolution.
“The cornerstone of the United States’ government is accountability to the people it serves. Whistleblowers put their jobs and reputations on the line to uphold that bedrock principle. Our laws should empower their oversight and ensure they can come forward without fear of retribution,” said Grassley. “Protecting whistleblowers is good government, plain and simple, and that’s something we can all get behind.”
“Whistleblowers are brave individuals who sound the alarm on fraud, waste, and abuse of public resources,” said Wyden. “It’s time for Congress to step up and support whistleblowers by strengthening laws that allow them to raise issues without fear of retaliation. Whistleblowers are the fail-safe for our government and I’ll fight tooth and nail to shore up protections that bolster our democratic institutions.”
National Whistleblower Appreciation Day commemorates the first whistleblower law in the history of the United States which was passed on July 30, 1778. In recent years, a growing number of federal agencies have celebrated National Whistleblower Day by informing employees of their whistleblower rights and by highlighting the critical role whistleblowers play in exposing fraud, corruption, and abuse of power.
For the past decade, the National Whistleblower Center (NWC) has hosted National Whistleblower Day celebrations. This year’s event will once again be an in-person event held on Capitol Hill and will feature an appearance by Senator Grassley.
“National Whistleblower Center is honored by a decade of recognizing National Whistleblower Appreciation Day,” said NWC Executive Director Siri Nelson. “The first resolution introduced by Senator Grassley in 2013 marked the beginning of an era marked by greater support for Whistleblowers and a better understanding of how whistleblowers safeguard our societies. We are so excited to celebrate these major strides forward with a live Q&A with Sen. Grassley on July 27th as we celebrate National Whistleblower Appreciation Day for the tenth year!”
In March, a group of whistleblowers, led by Whistleblower Network News’ Jane Turner, launched a campaign calling on President Biden to sign an Executive Order permanently establishing July 30 as National Whistleblower Day and requiring all federal agencies to recognize the day. To date, over 10,000 letters have been sent calling for a permanent National Whistleblower Day.
FBI whistleblower Fred Whitehurst, one of the group’s leaders, highlighted why this effort matters so much: “We verbalize our need for whistleblowers. We encourage whistleblowers. We gain from the sacrifices made by whistleblowers. We call whistleblowers heroes. And yet when the whistle is blowing we abandon them to a lonely battle against insurmountable forces. We must be not only the recipients of the fruits of their sacrifices but part of their team, bolstering them and their families, giving them jobs when needed, housing when needed, futures when needed and laws that protect them during their task. We must take this step for a permanent National Whistleblower Day.”