July 30th Designated as National Whistleblower Appreciation Day
On July 16th, 2020, the Senate unanimously passed a resolution designating July 30th, 2020 as National Whistleblower Appreciation Day for the eighth consecutive year. A whistleblower is an individual who, without authorization, reveals private or classified information about an organization, usually related to wrongdoing or misconduct. This date has historically been a meaningful date for whistleblowers, and here, the qui tam attorneys at Peter Angelos Law discuss how National Whistleblower Appreciation Day came to be, and how whistleblowing has been an integral part of American history.
History of United States Whistleblowing Cases and Their Impact
July 30th has a large significance in relation to whistleblowing, which began back in the 18th century. On July 30th, 1778, Congress passed the first official whistleblower legislation. This legislation proclaimed that “it is the duty of all persons in service of the United States, as well as all other inhabitants thereof, to give the earliest information to Congress or other proper authority of any misconduct, frauds or misdemeanors committed by any officers or persons in the service of these states, which comes to their knowledge.” In recent history, whistleblowers have exposed some of the largest corporations and political entities in the nation, providing transparency and relevant information for all Americans in relation to misconduct. Famous whistleblowers from the 20th century include:
- W. Mark Felt, “Deep Throat” – Watergate
- Daniel Ellsberg – Pentagon Papers
- Edward Snowden – NSA Surveillance
Whistleblowers Are Vital to Ensuring Government Transparency and Ethical Standards
While the whistleblowing cases seen above were executed on a much larger scale, whistleblowing occurs in all government levels, and is important in making sure that government officials and employees are abiding by guidelines, as well as state and federal laws. Especially in the current age of technology, hidden documents and data run the risk of being exposed by whistleblowers for the negligent action of government entities. In the same respect, technology, specifically social media and digital outlets, provide spaces for whistleblowers to exchange, share and amplify information at the click of a button.
As an individual, it can feel overwhelming or even impossible to file a claim against a large entity. But, rest assured that there are firms that will advocate for your rights, such as the qualified team at Peter Angelos Law Additionally, federal laws have been enacted to protect whistleblowers when coming forward, including the False Claims Act. This act imposes liability on any individual or organization for illegally avoiding payments to, or illegally receiving payments from the federal government. Under the act, citizens with knowledge of fraudulent activity are encouraged to file a complaint against the entity on behalf of the United States Government.
Qui Tam and False Claims Act Representation from Attorneys at Peter Angelos Law
The team at Peter Angelos Law has extensive experience in whistleblowing cases at all levels. As diligent citizens, it is our right to expose the government’s misconduct to all. While the idea of whistleblowing may seem incomprehensible, understand that if you or someone you know has information related to wrongdoings by the federal government, you have a right, and a responsibility to be heard. To learn more about the qui tam attorneys at Peter Angelos Law and see how our team can assist you in your qui tam or False Claims Act case, contact our Maryland, Pennsylvania or Tennessee offices today.