Rule 2: Navigating the Maze

Part of the “Quick Peek” Series, exploring the NEW edition of Stephen Kohn‘s Whistleblower’s Handbook.

Stephen M. Kohn, Executive Director of the National Whistleblower Center and author of the Whistleblower’s Handbook, asserts that the history of whistleblower laws stems from an attempt to answer the question: “What to do if the boss is a crook?” Many employees see corrupt practices in the workplace but don’t report them because they fear retaliation. But thanks to the fifty-five federal laws protecting whistleblowers from that exact fate, employees are free to report illegal activity without the fear of being fired or other forms of workplace retaliation.

The oldest of these laws is the False Claims Act (FCA), which protects government employees and federal contractors, and permits whistleblowers to obtain financial reward for tips that lead to a successful prosecution. Other laws that Kohn covers in the Handbook include the Consumer Product Safety Reform Act, which protects over twenty million workers in the manufacturing goods industry, and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act, which protects Wall-Street whistleblowers.

These laws are intended to make doing the right thing easier, lowering the risk that employees face for reporting wrongdoing. In the Handbook, Kohn reviews the most important whistleblower laws and helps readers navigate the maze. The Handbook’s a step-by-step checklist for potential whistleblowers is another resource readers can use to identify the best whistleblower laws for their particular circumstances. Throughout the pages of the Handbook, potential whistleblowers can find keen and insightful instructions on how to avoid the biggest pitfalls when blowing the whistle.

Whistleblower laws work, but it is important to familiarize yourself with the relevant laws and procedures if you are thinking about blowing the whistle to do so safely and effectively.

The new edition of The Whistleblower’s Handbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Doing What’s Right and Protecting Yourself will be released in July 2017. You can reserve your copy of this highly acclaimed Whistleblower’s Handbook now by making a tax-exempt donation of $50 or more to the National Whistleblower Center. Your donation will support the NWC’s work to protect the brave individuals that put themselves on the line to protect us all. The forthcoming edition is fully updated, with new sections on wildlife whistleblowing, combating foreign corruption, and an international anti-corruption toolkit.

*Hat tip to NWC intern Gannon Palmiter for his authorship of this blog post.

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