The Public Wrong of Whistleblower Retaliation

David Kwok

Volume 69, Issue 4, 1225-1269

When employers retaliate against whistleblowers, courts and agencies often treat the retaliation as a private employment dispute best resolved by the whistleblower and employer. This cramped view of retaliation disregards Congress’s contrary perspective of whistleblower retaliation as a public wrong requiring public attention. A survey of disparate Congressional enforcement mechanisms in whistleblower retaliation reveals common ground in a public mandate to investigate retaliation allegations. As limited resources constrain public investigation of every allegation, this Article proposes legislative and enforcement strategies that affirm the government’s leadership role in addressing the public wrong of whistleblower retaliation.

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