24 Dec 2022


Whistleblower Protection Act

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Over the years, whistleblowers have revealed numerous instances of wrongdoing, both on a small scale and a large scale. In spite of the protections set up to protect whistleblowers, there are still significant reprisals in the various organizations. One of the key reasons behind such incidences is that there is a lack of suitable mechanisms offered to whistleblowers through which they can seek respite from the individuals pursuing them (Rosenbloom, 2018). Subsequently, whistleblowers are left to fight the prosecuting entities who normally have more resources to guarantee the success of their cases. Some of the organizations pursuing whistleblowers have considerable financial resources and hence can afford to hire the best legal teams to represent them. In such cases, they are confident about winning the cases and hence can pursue the accused individuals. Second, employees who are working for a given organization are required to sign some agreements which detail the scope of their duties as well as the privacy they are required to maintain. In the case of whistleblowing, individuals may encounter information that may be beyond their designated area of specialization. Hence, they may be found culpable of breaching the initially approved code of conduct or employment agreement. Acts such as the Administrative Dispute Resolution Act (ADRA) may be referenced when trying cases that can be considered ambiguous with regard to whether there was an intentional breach of privacy by a whistleblower (Rosenbloom, 2018). Given the fact that the administrative agencies have the upper hand, they have a greater capacity of swaying the argument in their favor and winning such cases. In addition to this, the acts that are referred to in such cases lack suitable terminology, and hence it is easy for the legal teams representing the organizations to win cases. A third reason why protecting whistleblowers is complicated is because retaliation against whistleblowers can adopt various forms, and hence it can be difficult to detect it. Some of the most chosen approaches include laying off or firing, reassignment to less favorable positions or locations, and denying promotion (Rosenbloom, 2018). In such a case, it is difficult to verify a direct link between the whistleblowing incident and the retaliation meted out. One of the approaches that can be adopted to reduce reprisals is by reinforcing and expanding on whistleblower protection, including the laws and techniques of protecting those who disclose issues of public interest. This is based on the fact that the track record of whistleblower protective policies can be regarded to be abysmal. In the majority of cases, the formal routines merely offer a misconception of protection, which is, in an actual sense, not an accurate depiction of the situation (Andreadakis, 2019). Ethical codes and expecting the involved stakeholders to adhere to them in the face of issues are seemingly impotent. In line with this, the relevant authorities can also make it easier for whistleblowers to report their cases and get justice. In some instances, the length of the processes makes it difficult for employees to see it through to the end (Andreadakis, 2019). Another key approach that can be adopted is by offering anonymous channels through which whistleblowers can report their stories without the fear of retaliation. In such a scenario, even the least influential of employees can report their incidents. 


Andreadakis, S. (2019). Enhancing Whistleblower Protection: It’s all about the Culture.  European Business Law Review30 (6), 859-880. 

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Rosenbloom, D. H. (2018).  Administrative law for public managers . Routledge. 

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