The anonymous person who led federal investigators to a "flash crash" trader could collect millions of dollars for the information under the federal whistleblower laws. Under the program created as part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform movement, informants can collect up to 30 percent of the total sanctions if the government is able to collect at least $1 million as a result of these tips. Those who have information on Wisconsin businesses that have engaged in illegal practices may also be eligible for payment under federal whistleblower laws.
Wisconsin veterans may be concerned about multiple whistleblowers who have alleged that they faced retaliation after coming forward with stories of patient abuse and mismanagement at several VA facilities. The U.S. Office of Special Counsel has received 37 complaints from VA employees. The OSC - the agency investigating the claims involving VA facilities in 19 states - says that there appears to be a culture that punishes whistleblowers. Since May 15, the website VAOversight.org has received around 640 submissions, around 20 percent of which were filed by former and current VA employees.
Being a "tattletale" on the playground as a child may cause the young person to be ridiculed by his or her peers. Being a "tattletale" in the workplace as an adult may cause a person to experience more than just ridicule -- it could get the individual fired. Still, protections are in place for a person who ends up being a whistleblower in Wisconsin because public safety is considered more important than a company's bottom line. One female whistleblower recently received more than $1 million after she was reportedly wronged by her employer in one out-of-state case.
Though Wisconsin workers appreciate the protection of the law, their lives and careers can still be damaged by pressure from higher authorities to commit illegal acts. Everyone has a right to speak out against these abuses without fear of punishment, and those who assert it are often justly rewarded. Whistleblowers perform a public service by upholding what is ethical and fair, but in doing so, they also assume great risk. A whistleblower employee in Wisconsin can be protected under various circumstances, no matter the area of litigation.
We often discuss the fact that employers in Wisconsin are prohibited by law from retaliating against employees who report wrongdoing, such as discrimination or harassment. Federal employees have very specific legal protections in this regard. The Whistleblower Protection Act, which was passed 1989, offers protections to federal employees who report the misconduct of the agencies they work for, allowing them to obtain compensation if they are retaliated against.