60 Minutes: Prosecuting Wall Street
Last Sunday night, the television news-magazine 60 Minutes featured a July 2011 interview of Eileen Foster, a former high-ranking official at Countrywide Financial Corp., the home loans behemoth, and then Bank of America (BofA) after its purchase of Countrywide in July 2008.
Foster, now a GAP client, reported the corrupt activities of company officials, both pre- and post-purchase. In September 2008, BofA terminated Foster. Two months ago, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) found that BofA was wrong to terminate her, ordering her reinstatement and damages. However, BofA has appealed that order, and Foster’s fight continues.
Northwest News Network: Hanford Whistleblower Seeks Stronger Protection Laws In Senate Testimony
Yesterday, a subcommittee of the Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee held a hearing entitled "Whistleblower Protections for Government Contractors." The purpose of the hearing (which is available for viewing here) was to build support for the Non-Federal Employee Whistleblower Protection Act, introduced by Sens. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo) and Jim Webb (D-Va), which seeks to expand the scope of protected disclosures of wrongdoing made by America's growing federal contractor population. Senator McCaskill chaired the hearing.
Key Quote: Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill asked Tamosaitis what effect that has had on the larger project.
"So every day you are an example to all the workers there, whether they are federal employees or Bechtel employees, 'don't say anything or you too will be banished to the basement,'" McCaskill asked.
"Yes Senator. Very directly," Tamosaitis responded. "It's a very visible example of what happens if you speak up."
Related Article: Government Executive
WFNY News (NC): Whole Foods Market Sued By OSHA For Firing An Employee For Voicing Health Concerns
OSHA has sued Whole Foods over its treatment of a whistleblower who was fired from its Miami Beach store. Among other goals, OSHA is seeking that the whistleblower – who exposed an alleged raw sewage spill within the store that was not dealt with appropriately – be rehired.
Key Quote: OSHA is asking the federal court to remedy the situation by issuing an order that includes a permanent injunction against Whole Foods to prevent future violations of this law; reinstating the former employee with full benefits; paying back wages, punitive damages and compensatory damages to the employee; expunging the employee's personnel file with respect to the matters at issue in this case; and granting any other appropriate relief.
Related Articles: Food Safety News
Dylan Blaylock is Communications Director for the Government Accountability Project, the nation's leading whistleblower protection and advocacy organization.