Protecting Whistleblowers: What You Need to Know
On the 19th of June, a court ruling was decreed that the jobs of public employees who’d act as whistleblowers would no longer be at risk. This means that they could not be fired whenever they testify against corruption and various anomalies in the public sector.
You may be working for the government or a public institution. Therefore, it is important for you to know what the court ruling entails. Below are brief facts about the ruling.
1. The testimony of the employees are protected.
The ruling reasserts the fact that by unanimous decision, employees have the right to testify against the abuses done by officials without having to fear any sort of backlash from their respective employers. Additionally, the ruling relieves whistleblowers from any uneasiness over the idea of making various misdeeds known to the public.
2. The ruling has its roots in the First Amendment.
The First Amendment protects employees from job retaliation whenever they testify. It was only recently that it had been explicitly ruled in court, making sure that whistleblowers are well accounted for and will be kept safe for the duration of their respective trials.
3. The court broadened the protection of whistleblowers.
Not only are employees protected whenever they uncover certain anomalies, but they are also encouraged to do so, in exchange for tighter immunity against what the employers can do to them.
4. State retaliation is still a threat.
One first has to take into account what one is willing to sacrifice before becoming a whistleblower. Though the court may be able to protect the rights of employees, the state may still be able to intervene and infringe such rights as it sees fit. The case of Edward Snowden may come to mind, namely his exposure of alleged security violations performed by the NSA.
But regardless of the obstacles whistleblowers face, making sure that the public sector remains clean is a noble act. Hence, the ruling by the Supreme Court to extend the protection of those who’d testify truly is a step up.
If you have witnessed any sort of incongruity yourself, make sure you take everything into account before making that step forward!