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Exploring the government's whistleblower bill of rights

Once a person has blown the whistle on corruption, ethics violations and other illegal activities, it is virtually impossible to back out of the situation. That is why it is so important to weigh the situation carefully before going forward. One thing that may make potential whistleblowers feel better about speaking out is learning about their rights as a whistleblower.

The federal government takes a very serious approach to protecting a whistleblower's rights. In fact, it has created what is essentially a bill of rights to ensure and preserve this protection in all matters involving the whistleblower. Some important elements of this bill of rights include:

  • Whistleblowers enjoy a broad freedom of speech right in disclosing any information about illegal or unethical activities.
  • Whistleblowers have access to a range of objective and fair procedures while the complaint is under investigation.
  • Whistleblowers are granted protection from any form of retaliation and are given options to hold parties accountable for retaliation.
  • Whistleblowers have the right to remain confidential if possible and to be notified in advance if their name will be released.
  • Whistleblowers are to be notified about their rights and how to use the available whistleblower complaint systems.
  • Whistleblowers have the right to contribute to the documentation of an investigation and to receive a copy of the final report.

To sum up, the government is dedicated to protecting whistleblowers and to upholding their rights as soon as a complaint of wrongdoing begins. Employment attorneys also play an important role in protecting whistleblowers in Michigan and all other states. If you are considering speaking out against wrongdoing, an attorney can provide more information about your rights.

Source: GAP, Government Accountability Project, "Whistleblower Fact Sheet," accessed Oct. 20, 2017

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