A whistleblower is an employee revealing wrongdoing to a person or organization having the power to take corrective action. The crime is usually a violation of law and is a threat to the public interest. Financial fraud, health or safety breaches and abuse are common risks to the public sphere. Zuckerman Law – Employment and Whistleblower Law Firm is one of the authority sites on this topic. The most common type of whistleblower is an internal plaintiff who includes relatively minor law violations. Some forms of official sources disclosing the abuse to outside persons or organizations, whether attorneys, the public, law enforcement or watchdogs.
In the early 1990s, Jeffrey Wigand and the tobacco industry were one of the most prominent Whistleblowing events in the United States. Wigand warned the public about the company’s decisions after discovering that managers understood cigarettes were addictive and still allowed the introduction of other carcinogenic ingredients. Though Wigand lost his job, his behavior changed the way in which the tobacco industry worked. Many famous cases involve Dr. Frederic Whitehurst, who revealed problems within the FBI’s crime lab and the revelation of corruption within the European Commission by Paul van Buitenen.
Reactions to whistleblowers vary depending on the subject matter of their accusation and the manner they are reported. Many may see their exposure as an act of a selfless hero, who is unconcerned about their own interests when the public good is at stake. People who blow the whistle usually lose their jobs and see their future job prospects in jeopardy. Many views include spies who betray their bosses for professional fame and glory as snitches or tattletales.