Jun 20 2014

Supreme Court Decision on Protections of Public Employee Whistleblowers Does Not Go Far Enough

The US Supreme Court ruled yesterday that public employees cannot be retaliated against for blowing the whistle on government corruption.

The decision overturned a lower court ruling and was centered around the case of an Alabama community college professor who testified at a hearing about a state legislator and was later fired by his college president.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor, in writing for the majority said employees like the professor in question are protected by the First Amendment and that to not be given legal protection would put whistleblowers “in an impossible position, torn between the obligation to testify truthfully and the desire to avoid retaliation and keep their jobs.”

GUEST: Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, is a whistleblower who was a senior policy analyst for the Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA. When she complained to the EPA about a U.S. company harming the environment and human health in its vanadium mining in South Africa, she was ignored, and her promotion denied. Ultimately she sued and won, and pushed for the passage of a whistleblower protection act called the Notification and Federal Employee Antidiscrimination and Retaliation Act of 2002 or NO FEAR.

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