Whistleblowers

Silencing the Whistle-Blowers

Last week Pfc. Bradley Manning returned to court for his final pretrial hearing in the WikiLeaks case, an appearance that has renewed debate about how to balance the imperatives of national security against the rights of whistle-blowers. But while Private Manning’s ordeal has received exhaustive news coverage, it may ultimately have a less profound bearing […]

Criminal Probe Spotlights Tree Poisoning to Make Way for Billboards

Criminal Probe Spotlights Tree Poisoning to Make Way for Billboards

As long as there have been billboards, trees have been getting in the way. And billboard companies have been removing them–sometimes legally, sometimes not. Now a rash of alleged tree poisonings in Florida have implicated a top billboard company and sparked a criminal investigation. But it turns out that rogue behavior by billboard operators is nothing new.

(Reuters)

U.S. Orders Bank of America to Pay $930,000 for Illegally Firing Whistleblower

Labor Department officials have ordered Bank of America to pay damages and reinstate a former executive they say was illegally fired for reporting fraud at the company’s Countrywide Financial Corp. unit. The award of $930,000 to former Countrywide vice president Eileen Foster follows a ruling by an administrative law judge that her firing violated whistleblower […]

Health Care Firm to Pay $150 Million for Defrauding U.S., State Agencies

Maxim Healthcare Services has agreed to pay $150 million to settle criminal and civil charges that it fraudulently overbilled federal and state health-care benefits programs. The Columbia, Md.,-based company also entered into a criminal deferred prosecution agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s office in Newark, which conditionally allows it to avoid a potential health care fraud […]

Union Pacific Told to Pay $615,000 for Retaliation Against 3 Workers

Union Pacific Railroad faces penalties of more than $615,000 based on a finding by federal authorities that the company fired two workers, and suspended another, in retaliation for reporting workplace safety concerns and a work-related injury. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration called for Omaha-based Union Pacific to pay $400,000 in punitive damages, $90,315 in […]

Regulators Probe Whether Utility Ignored Warnings of Potential Gas Leaks

California regulators have begun looking into allegations that Pacific Gas & Electric ignored warnings from the company’s former manager of investigations about  “potentially explosive gas leaks.” The preliminary state probe is yet another examination of the company’s safety practices in the years before the explosion last September of a PG&E gas pipeline that killed eight […]

OSHA Unveils Plans to Boost Protection of Whistleblowers

Facing sharp criticism of its whistleblower protection program, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has announced measures to improve training and avoid long delays in completing investigations. The program has been ripped by the Labor Department’s inspector general and by the Government Accountability Office which, in a report released last year, cited training lapses […]

Bill Seeks to Restrict Corporate Whistleblowers in Financial Cases

House Republicans have launched a business-backed effort to block corporate whistleblowers from going directly to financial regulators with reports of wrongdoing. At the center of the effort is a bill drafted to amend last year’s Dodd-Frank financial oversight law by requiring whistleblowers to report problems internally before going to the Securities and Exchange Commission. The […]

Despite Whistleblowers, Energy Companies Cheat U.S. on Royalties

Whistleblowers have helped authorities collect more than a half-billion dollars since 2000 from energy companies that underpaid the royalties they owed for drilling on federal lands or in U.S. coastal waters. But, as the Center for Public Integrity’s iWatch News reports, the amount of unpaid royalties is thought to be far greater, and federal efforts […]

Nuclear Plant Manager Files Whistleblower Suit Against California Utility

A former manager at California’s San Onofre nuclear plant is suing his ex-employer, charging that the company wrongfully terminated him in retaliation for his efforts to blow the whistle on safety violations. As Reuters reports, the firing came after the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission sent a warning letter in March, 2010, to Southern California Edison, […]