Leading Presidential Candidates Endorse National Civil Rights Law For Whistleblowers

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Leading Presidential Candidates Endorse National Civil Rights Law For Whistleblowers

Senators Obama, Clinton, and Governor Huckabee Among Supporters

Washington, D.C.  September 3, 2007. Presidential candidates Sen. Hillary Clinton, Sen. Chris Dodd, former Senator John Edwards, former Senator Mike Gravel, Governor Mike Huckabee, Representative Dennis Kucinich, Sen. Barak Obama, Congressman Ron Paul, and Governor Bill Richardson, have agreed in writing to specifically endorse a national whistleblower protection law modeled on the Civil Rights Act.

Today, the National Whistleblowers Center announced that, in response to a detailed survey, these nine candidates pledged “to advocate for the passage of a law which would give employees who are illegally terminated for blowing the whistle the same procedural and substantive protections as other wrongfully discharged employees under laws such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (i.e. the law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race or sex).”

Title VII protections apply to nearly every employee in the country, including those employed by private businesses as well as federal, state and local governments.

Two candidates (Senator Sam Brownback and Representative Tom Tancredo) responded to the survey with statements in support of whistleblower protection, but declined to specifically support the civil rights proposal.  Four candidates, Senator Biden, Former Mayor Rudy Guliani, Senator John McCain and former Governor Mitt Romney, declined to respond to the survey.

In releasing the results of the survey, National Whistleblowers Center President Stephen Kohn stated:  “We are encouraged that nine presidential candidates have publicly demonstrated their commitment to supporting whistleblower protection. It is shocking that on Labor Day, 2007 the majority of American workers still have no adequate federal protection when they risk their jobs and disclose illegal or unsafe conduct. We sincerely hope that all candidates for President will publicly endorse civil rights for whistleblowers and use their positions to ensure that by next Labor Day all whistleblowers are finally protected under a federal law.”

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