The U.S. Continental Congress passed America’s first whistleblower law during the height of the American Revolution on July 30th, 1778.
To honor this history, the first Congressional celebration of National Whistleblower Day took place in the U.S. Senate Kennedy Caucus Room on July 30th, 2015. It was a huge success.
Since then, the National Whistleblower Center has held an annual celebration to honor and celebrate the great contributions of whistleblowers. We are strongly advocating for July 30th to be permanently recognized as National Whistleblower Day, and we need your support.
Over the last few years, the National Whistleblower Center has worked to build bipartisan support for the issue of whistleblower protection. As an October 2020 poll from the Whistleblower News Network shows, both corporate and federal employee whistleblowers enjoy broad support from the American public. The desire to protect whistleblowers spans across political parties, with Democrats, Republicans, and Independents all favoring stronger protections for whistleblowers and Congress making whistleblower protection laws a priority. The poll also indicates a large segment of the voting population in the United States would be more likely to support a candidate for Congress who supports whistleblowers and the laws that protect them.
There is also strong bipartisan support for the issue of whistleblower protection in both houses of Congress. The U.S. Senate has passed a resolution each year since 2013 declaring July 30th “National Whistleblower Appreciation Day.” In 2019, the U.S. House also introduced a resolution to recognize the day.
The National Whistleblower Center believes it is important to honor whistleblowers and change the culture of retaliation that often destroys whistleblowers’ careers. We need your help in securing enactment of a law that would establish July 30th as National Whistleblower Day in perpetuity.
“That it is the duty of all persons in the service of the United States, as well as all other inhabitants thereof, to give the earliest information of wrongdoing 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 may come to their knowledge.”
First U.S. whistleblower law, unanimously passed on July 30, 1778 by the Continental Congress
National Whistleblower Day 2020
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the 2020 celebration was quite different compared to past events, leading to the first interactive virtual National Whistleblower Day conference.
This event allowed NWC to reach a larger audience and engage with speakers on the role of whistleblowers in tackling the great issues of our day: including police misconduct and racial injustice, mistreatment of workers on the front lines of the Covid-19 response, and climate chance.
Keynote addresses were given by Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-CA). In a notable announcement and win for whistleblowers, Senator Grassley proposed new amendments to the False Claims Act to reverse two harmful setbacks.
“With their words and actions, leaders have to make clear that whistleblowers are important and retaliation is not tolerated.”
Senator Chuck Grassley
The History of America’s First Whistleblower Law
As told by National Whistleblower Center Chairman of the Board, Stephen M. Kohn.