For Many Whistleblowers, No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

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There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting. - Buddha 

Gregory Hicks bravely testified before Congress about the 9/11 attacks on the American diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Libya. He claimed that he was punished for stating that President Obama's administration's response the night of the attack cost the lives of two Americans. Although Hicks is still technically on the State Department's staff, he has not been reassigned since being recalled from Libya. 

Making traitors out of whistleblowers

The U.S. government set a record when it charged former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden with three felonies, two under the Espionage Act — Snowden became the eighth person charged for violating the Espionage Act under President Obama. Before the Obama Administration, only three people had faced charges of violating the 1917 Espionage Act for leaking data. Obama pledged to orchestrate a movement of transparency in Washington, but his actions demonstrate an era of punishing alleged whistleblowers.

The untold story of Gina Gray

Gina Gray was the Army civilian worker who blew the whistle on extensive wrongdoing at Arlington National Cemetery. She revealed a list of misdeeds that would disturb the families of those interred at Arlington National — misplaced graves, improperly handled remains and financial mismanagement. Gray filed her complaints through all of the proper internal channels, and in return she was fired. The Pentagon's inspector general recommended formal corrective action to compensate Gray, but Gray's lawyer, Mark Zaid, claims that Army Secretary John McHugh refused to pursue the inspector general's recommendation.  

Gray, who served in Iraq as an Army contractor and Army public affairs specialist, is currently unemployed and residing in North Carolina. 

Punishing whistleblowers can be very costly for employers who retaliate against employees who report illegal activity.

Topics:  Department of State, Whistleblowers

Published In: International Trade Updates, Labor & Employment Updates

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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