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Most Whistle-Blowers See Retaliation, Survey Shows

September 02, 2002|From Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Most employees who expose workplace wrongdoing face some form of retaliation, and many still lack the legal right to protect themselves, says a report released Sunday by a whistle-blower advocate organization.

About half the whistle-blowers who responded to a survey by the nonprofit National Whistleblower Center in Washington said they were fired after reporting unlawful conduct. Most of the others said they faced on-the-job harassment or unfair discipline.

The report recommends that Congress pass legislation to protect all government and private-sector whistle-blowers from reprisals in the same way that existing laws shield from retaliation victims who report discrimination based on race or sex.

A patchwork of more than a dozen federal laws now allows whistle-blowers to fight employer reprisals in certain cases, such as airline safety and nuclear power plant violations. Legislation passed in July protects employees who report financial misconduct at publicly traded companies.

Workers who expose many other types of abuse--election fraud, campaign finance abuse, obstruction of justice, witness intimidation and the like--remain without legal recourse if an employer decides to retaliate, the report said.

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