Whistleblowers: Consequences of doing the right thing

Topics: Whistleblower, False Claims Act, Whistleblower Protection Act Pages: 8 (2781 words) Published: October 10, 2013


Whistleblowers: Consequences of doing the right thing
By
Jose Gonzalez

Dr. Aaron Bazzoli

Park University
MG 260

29 September 2013

Outline
Purpose Statement: To provide an understanding what constitutes whistleblowing in an organization, what are some of the laws that protect whistleblowers, and provide several examples of employees blowing the whistle and their consequences? I. What constitutes a whistleblowing in an organization?

A. Origin and Definition
B. Internal and External
II. What are some of the laws that protect whistleblowers?
A. False Claim Act
B. Dodd-Frank Act
C. Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act
III. What are several examples of employees blowing the whistle and their consequences? A. Ted Siska 2012
B. David P. Weber 2013
C. Edward Snowden 2013
IV. Conclusion

Whistleblowers: Consequences of doing the right thing
“To see a wrong and not to expose it – is to become a silent partner to its continuance.”
-Dr. John Raymond Baker
The term “whistleblower” began to be used in a way significant to science, technology, and ethics in the 1960s and U.S. civic activist Ralph Nader coined the phrase in the early 1970s to avoid the negative connotations found in other words such as "informers" and "snitches" (Nader, Petkas, Blackwell, 1972). Duschinski, (2013), in an article called, “Whistleblowers Who Shaped Modern U.S. History” stated, “transpose friends with employers or government, and you have what we today term a “whistleblower”, individuals compelled by conviction, perhaps, or possibly treasure-seeking publicity hounds? Time tells”. However, in order to have a fundamental understanding of what is a whistleblower, one must understand what constitutes whistleblowing in an organization, what are some of the laws that protect whistleblowers, what are several examples of employees blowing the whistle, and their consequences.

To get a better understanding what constitutes whistleblowing in an organization, let’s take a look at what is the origin and definition of whistleblowing, as well as what an internal and external whistleblower is. The origin of the term “whistleblowing” is unclear, but some say it may refer to “English policemen blowing whistles to alert others of danger and illegal acts or to a sport referee stopping a game due an illegal or foul play” . Then, it is no surprise that according to an article from the Government Accountability Project, “What is a Whistleblower?” (2013) defined whistleblowing as the “act of an employee(s) (former or current) in a government agency or private sector disclosing information to the public or those in authority what they believe is evidence of illegality, gross waste or fraud, mismanagement, abuse of power, general wrongdoing, or a substantial and specific danger to public health and safety”. In other words, whistleblowing constitutes a former or current employee (the whistleblower) revealing to the public or to those in authority, of mismanagement, corruption, illegality, or some other wrongdoing an organization they work for. The question then one must ask is, what does revealing to the public or those in authority mean?

Luegenbiehl (2005) in an article from the Encyclopedia of Science, Technology and Ethics called “Whistleblowing” contends that “it is possible to distinguish between internal (those in authority) and external (public) whistleblowing. Internal whistleblowing occurs when the hierarchical chain of command within an organization is violated, so that one's immediate superiors are bypassed, perhaps because they have refused to act or they are directly involved in the wrongdoing. External whistleblowing refers to going outside the organization, possibly to a regulatory agency, the press, or directly to the public”). Now that we have a better understanding what constitutes whistleblowing, let’s take a look at some of the laws that protect whistleblowers.

According to “The...

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Luegenbiehl, H. C. (2005). Whistleblowing. (C. Mitcham, Ed.) Encyclopedia of Science, Technology, and Ethics, 4, pp. 2062-2064. doi:Retrieved from http://go.galegroup.com.pegleg.park.edu/ps/start.do?p=GVRL&u=park19302
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Michael Behn, L. W. (2013). Whistleblower Protection Against Retaliation. Retrieved September 19, 2013, from behnwyetzner.com: http://www.behnwyetzner.com/whistleblower-protection-against-retaliation
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Quotes for Whistleblowers. (2008, August 4). Retrieved September 27, 2013, from WhistleblowerSupporter: http://whistleblowersupporter.typepad.com/my_weblog/quotes-for-whistleblowers/
Wall Street Reform: The Dodd-Frank Act
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