Whistleblowing is considered valuable to the public interest as it can reveal information necessary for the punishment of crimes about which authorities or officials would otherwise remain unaware.

A main federal laws enacted to protect whistleblowing employees working within the federal government is known as the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989. The act contains provisions specifically outlining matters that must be proven in order for a federal employee to bring a successful whistleblowing claim:

Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989

  • The employee made a protected disclosure
  • That he or she reasonably believed showed misconduct or violation of the law, rule or regulation
  • Some form of retaliation occurred
  • That was directly connected to the protected disclosure.

Whistleblowers Are Protected from Discrimination

The laws concerning whistleblowing employees also prohibit discrimination as a result of whistleblowing; Therefore, reporting or highlighting information about an employer’s misconduct should not result in discrimination or alienation. For instance, the California False Claims Act prevents employers from making rules that would discriminate against an employee “because he or she has discloses information to the government.”