The Future of Whistleblower
Protection: A Model Law
Given the failure of the federal government to act upon legislative proposals to create a uniform national whistleblower protection law, employee whistleblowers and their attorneys are faced with a difficult problem of identifying which specific state or federal laws the whistleblower may be protected under and exactly what they must do to obtain protection. In many instances, the whistleblower is left with no protection at all.1 In light of this national legislative vacuum, persons who have blown the whistle on federal crimes have often been personally destroyed, both economically and professionally.2 This status quo is not acceptable. The federal government should pass a uniform national whistleblower protection act.3 In addition, in the absence of federal action, state legislatures should pass legislation to insure that whistleblowers are protected.
The current maze of federal whistleblower laws has been widely and properly criticized. For example, the Administrative Conference of the United States studied federal whistleblower laws over thirteen years ago. The conference&s report recognized that whistleblowers were completely unprotected in "potentially important industries such as aviation and pharmaceuticals" and that the "crazy quilt" of the limited federal remedies was gravely deficient.4 Moreover, in many of the areas in which Congress had passed whistleblower legislation, such as the protection of whistleblowers who disclosed environmental violations, the laws contained thirty-day statutes of limitations. The Administrative Conference found that such