The Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2012 went into effect on December 27, 2012. The bill clarifies existing whistleblower protection laws and provides additional protections to persons who report illegal and unsafe business practices. The penalties for employers and companies retaliating against whistleblowers are also expanded.
“This reform took 13 years to pass because it can make [such a difference] against fraud, waste and abuse,” says Tom Devine, legal director for the Government Accountability Project. “Government managers at all levels made pleas and repeatedly blocked the bill through procedural sabotage…but once there were no more secret ‘holds,’ the WPEA passed unanimously, because no politician in a free society can openly oppose freedom of speech.”
It is important that workers know they are protected for speaking out against violations. The Whistleblower Protection Act of 2012 is a great measure to ensure the safety of workers and consumers alike. The new legislation added specifics to protect all individuals who come forward with information, not only the first party to report. Individuals as well as companies and departments that try to intimidate whistleblowers will face stricter punishment.
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Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob—Los Angeles whistleblower protection attorneys