virginia whistleblower protection

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A Food Safety Modernization Act clause will allow food and agricultural workers protection should they raise the flag on unsafe practices. Section 402 protects privately employed food and agriculture workers who take action reporting food safety concerns. Under the clause, such workers cannot be discharged or punished for their whistleblowing.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is the agency responsible for enforcing these new provisions. They oversee 20 such whistleblower rules, all of which protect workers from retaliation after blowing the whistle on unsafe practices in the workplace.

Many of the FSMA provisions have taken years to enact, but the whistleblowing clause went into effect the moment President Obama signed the law in 2011. Since that time, OSHA has been collecting complaints from food and agriculture workers about food safety.

Before this clause was put into place, people who complained about food safety in the workplace could be fired and retaliated against for speaking up. A Texas peanut plant employee tried to raise the flag about products contaminated with salmonella. Unfortunately, his concerns went unheard and nine people were sickened and killed by the contaminated peanut products. Thousands of others were also made sick by the peanuts.

Unfortunately, the man and his family now live in poverty, in spite of his attempt to do what was right. This is a story that is far too common among whistleblowers of all industries. Thankfully, this clause should help put a stop to retaliation and punishment of people like the peanut whistleblower.

Have You Witnessed Illegal Practices?

If you have been brave enough to reveal unsafe, fraudulent, or deceitful practices within your company, you should not be punished.  If you are aware of unsafe, fraudulent, or deceitful practices within your company, but have not come forward, you need guidance.  In both instances, you deserve the protection that the law affords you. Do not stand by and be bullied into silence by your company.

An industry expert is now $700,000 richer after receiving the first ever whistleblower award given to a company outsider. An anonymous person known only as an industry expert received $700,000 for coming forward with information. The company in question was not identified. The help given to the Securities and Exchange Commission by this expert is making headlines. The groundbreaking award marks the first time a company outsider has been remunerated for information, as all previously rewarded whistleblowers went to those working at companies being investigated.

Whistleblower Reward Program

The expansion of this whistleblower reward program is a “game changer.” In the past, industry experts sometimes claimed to know about suspicious activity – like that of the Bernie Madoff case – but did not come forward because no such reward was offered to outsiders. The news of this reward program expansion highlights the possibility for anyone with information about unethical behavior to come forward and be rewarded. Industry experts can offer a unique perspective into complex and often confusing fields. Their knowledge is priceless when it comes to understanding potential abuse.

Speaking Up Against Unethical and Illegal Practices

Speaking up about unethical behavior is difficult no matter the context, but it’s especially hard when you’re employed at the company in question. Those who work outside the company face backlash as well, which is why the whistleblower in this case has been kept anonymous. The award money serves as as incentive for people to come forward with their insider knowledge, but also as a kind of insurance policy for the whistleblower. Whistleblower retaliation is illegal, and consequences can be enforced for anyone demoted, terminated, or treated unfairly for reporting illegal practices.

Since the program began in 2011, the SEC has awarded more than $55 million to nearly two dozen whistleblowers.

Whistleblower Protection Attorneys

Are you aware of illegal practices going on at your workplace, but are afraid of being retaliated against if you report them? Or maybe you have already reported illegal practices, and have been fired or demoted? If so, you may want to speak to an experienced whistleblower attorney.

There are federal laws in place that protect and reward whistleblowers that shed light on individuals or companies that are engaged in fraudulent activities. For more information visit our Whistleblower Protection page, or contact us to discuss your situation.

A new holiday recognizing whistleblowers has been proposed by the National Whistleblower Center. July 30, 1778 is the day the Continental Congress enacted the first whistleblower law – and the day proposed to honor whistleblowers each year. Senator Chuck Grassley recently convinced the Senate to pass a resolution urging on this celebration, but nothing has been made official yet.

The push for such a celebration comes after a series of high profile whistleblower cases in the public eye. Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning are just two such whistleblowers charged with leaking classified information in recent months. Of course, one person’s leaker or traitor is another’s whistleblower. In any case, we should be thankful for the sacrifices of such people willing to risk their reputation for exposing the truth.

The eighth annual Whistleblower Summit was recently held in Washington, D.C. to help honor the proposed July 30th celebration. Organized by the Make it Safe coalition, the summit provides a support network for those feeling isolated by their whistleblower status. It aims to change the public perception of whistleblowers from traitors to heroes. The summit also hopes to provide lobbying training to those who could assist in the passing of transparency legislation.

Though Whistleblower Appreciation Day has not yet been made official, its mission remains vital to our country and what it stands for. As the role of the whistleblower continues to evolve and change, it is important that we recognize the role they play in our corporations and government throughout the nation.

Whistleblower Protection Attorneys

We are experienced whistleblower attorneys and are here to help. For more information visit our Whistleblower Protection page, or contact us to discuss your situation 877-544-5323.

Regardless of the state in which you live, the risk of corruption is something that may be on your mind. Those in Virginia need to be aware of the following: the state is one of the nation’s worst when measuring the risk of corruption.

A recent investigation took a closer look at this trouble, noting that many state employees are afraid to report fraud because they are ineligible for whistleblower protection. As a result, they could potentially lose their job for filing a report.

In the investigative report, it is noted that a number of public employees have claimed to witness fraud and the waste of tax resources in the workplace, however, they fear they would lose their job if they officially reported it to their supervisor.

Despite the fact that the current whistleblower law only protects a small number of state employees, this could be changing in the near future. Virginia Delegate Jim Lemunyon recently introduced a bill that would provide protection to all citizens, including state employees. You can learn more about the proposed bill here.

ABC 8NEWS – WRIC | Richmond, Virginia News