Will Congress Pass Whistleblower Protections Before the Next Disaster?


I call it the two crash rule: It takes two disasters for Congress to protect whistleblowers.

For example, for years airline pilots pleaded for Congress to enact modest protections for airline employees who exposed safety concerns. Year in and year out legislation was introduced, but stalled or was ignored. Then, in 2000, two Alaskan Airlines jets crashed. Only after two plane crashes were the whistleblower protections enacted. The same story holds true for almost every other federal whistleblower law. Disasters prompted action – but in each case the legislative response was limited to fixing the crisis at hand.

How many more disasters are needed to provide real whistleblower protection for all American workers? How many more billions lost in various schemes (such as the home mortgage fiasco)? How many tainted products will be imported into America? How many more taxpayer dollars will be wasted or swindled by contractors in Iraq?

Since January, 2007 numerous whistleblower protection laws have been introduced into Congress. But since the Democratic takeover of Congress only one whistleblower protection proposal has actually passed. This law provides enhanced protections for truck and bus drivers who complain about safety risks.

Obviously, truck drivers need whistleblower protection, but what about the tens of millions of employees who remain completely unprotected?

Congress needs to enact a comprehensive national whistleblower protection law, a law which will provide all legitimate whistleblowers with adequate legal protections.

Below is the list of whistleblower protection laws are currently pending in Congress. They all deserve our support. But why has no member of Congress introduced a national whistleblower protection act, which would protect all honest employees who expose violations of law or threats to the public safety? Why are most whistleblowers still without any adequate protection under federal law? When will Congress finally act?

Here is a list of the major whistleblower protection proposals introduced into Congress since January, 2007. As of today, none of these laws have passed:

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