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Protecting Whistleblowers since 1977

National Whistleblower Appreciation Day

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National Whistleblower Appreciation Day

Last year the Senate passed Resolution 202, establishing National Whistleblower Appreciation Day (NWAD) on July 30. This wonderful action was taken in order to a) acknowledge and commemorate the contributions of whistleblowers to combating waste, fraud, abuse, and violations of laws, and b) to inform workers and the public about the legal rights of citizens of the United States to blow the whistle.

The events occurring on NWAD will be part of a larger whistleblower event, “Whistleblower Summit: Civil and Human Rights Conference” taking place from July 28 – 31. ACORN 8 is sponsoring the summit, and a full list of co-sponsors as well as additional summit information can be found at www.whistleblowersummit.com. All events are free and open to the public. However, please RSVP here.

To promote the timeless efforts of whistleblowers, GAP has produced four panels (one on Tuesday, July 29, three on Wednesday, July 30) that center on critically important issues facing the whistleblower community. Details regarding such panels can be found below:

Emerging Threats and Protections for National Security Whistleblowers
Tuesday, July 29th 11:30 am – 12:30 pm
485 Russell Senate Office Building

National security employees are the nation’s best line of defense against government waste, fraud and abuse. Yet, these modern day Paul Reveres enjoy limited protections when they disclose government misconduct. From Edward Snowden’s disclosures of sweeping government surveillance to a recent court ruling that threatens the civil service rule of law, this panel will explore the vital role of whistleblowers within an ever-expanding national security state. It will further examine newly enacted protections for Intelligence Community government whistleblowers and a growing campaign to restore rights for their contractor counterparts.

  • Cathy Ball, Legislative Representative, National Treasury Employees Union
  • Shahid Buttar, Executive Director, Bill of Rights Defense Committee
  • Tom Devine, Legal Director, GAP (Moderator)
  • Keith Wrightson, Worker Safety and Health Advocate, Public Citizen
     

25 Years of the Whistleblower Protection Act - WPEA: The Next Frontier
Wednesday July 30th 9:30 am – 10:30 am
441 Cannon House Office Building, C St SE, Washington, DC 20003

This year (2014) marks the 25th anniversary of the Whistleblower Protection Act (WPA). A panel of noted experts will explore the strengths and limitations of the WPA and looming threats to the statute, in addition to recent reforms included in the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act (WPEA) of 2012. It will explore congressional efforts to address unresolved issues, from the extension of the all-circuit review provision to jury trial access for federal employees.

  • Tom Devine, Legal Director, GAP (Moderator)
  • Michael McCray, General Counsel, FEW Legal Education Fund
  • Krista Boyd, Counsel, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee

From Firings to Criminal Referrals: The Changing Face of Whistleblower Retaliation
Wednesday July 30th, 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
441 Cannon House Office Building, C St SE, Washington, DC 20003

During the last few years, there has been a surge in whistleblower protections against workplace retaliation affecting federal and corporate workers alike. Finding it more difficult to justify firing truth-tellers in the face of these buttressed rights, retaliatory managers are increasingly using a new method of retribution – referring whistleblowers for criminal investigations and prosecutions when they engage in protected whistleblowing. This panel will explore the gap in current whistleblower protection legislation against criminal retaliation, and legislative proposals to address this emerging reprisal tactic.

  • Tom Devine, Legal Director, GAP (Moderator) 
  • Tristan Leavitt, Investigative Counsel, Senate Judiciary Committee
  • Amanda Hitt, Director, Food Integrity Campaign
  • Pete Sepp, Executive Vice President, National Taxpayers Union
     

Dodd-Frank 4th Anniversary: Strengthening Anti-Reprisal Rights under the SEC Whistleblower Program
Wednesday July 30th, 3:15 pm – 4:30 pm
Stewart R. Mott Foundation, 122 Maryland Ave NE Washington DC 20002

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act established the SEC Whistleblower Program. Since its inception in 2010, the program has recovered over $550 million based on whistleblower tips, and whistleblowers enjoy access to an SEC bounty program. However, its anti-reprisal rights are in need of an upgrade. This panel will examine appropriate rule-making for the SEC to clarify and strengthen protections available to those who report misconduct internally or externally. Otherwise, a hostile work environment – rampant with fear of retaliation – could lead future potential whistleblowers to keep quiet and allow fraud continue or intensify.

National Whistleblower Appreciation Day Reception
Wednesday July 30th, 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm
Stewart R. Mott Foundation, 122 Maryland Ave NE Washington DC 20002

Join us for drinks and hors d'oeuvres as we celebrate our nation’s unsung heroes!