Washington, D.C. July 31, 2013. By a unanimous resolution the U.S. Senate declared July 30, 2013 as “National Whistleblower Appreciation Day.” The National Whistleblowers Center strongly supports the Senate’s historic action and calls on every American reflect upon the tremendous contributions whistleblowers have made to American democracy, as well as the struggles and sacrifices they have endured.
The resolution (S.Res.202) not only designated July 30, 2013 as “National Whistleblower Appreciation Day” but it also resolved that the Senate:
(2) ensures that the Federal Government implements the intent of the Founding Fathers, as reflected in the legislation enacted on July 30, 1778, by encouraging each executive agency to recognize “National Whistleblower Appreciation Day” by–
(A) informing employees, contractors working on behalf of United States taxpayers, and members of the public about the legal rights of citizens of the United States to blow the whistle; and
(B) acknowledging the contributions of whistleblowers to combating waste, fraud, abuse, and violations of laws and regulations in the United States
In a statement celebrating the passage of the “National Whistleblower Appreciation Day” Resolution, NWC Executive Director Stephen M. Kohn issued the following statement:
“In honor of ‘National Whistleblower Appreciation Day’ we urge all Americans to reflect on these past sacrifices and accomplishments and show support for the whistleblowers today who are fighting to defend their reputations, their jobs and their freedom after exposing lies at the highest levels of government and frauds that have robbed tax-payers and investors of countless billions.”
“The Senate’s establishment of ‘National Whistleblower Appreciation Day’ is a historic first step in changing the hostile workplace culture that had made it so difficult on American’s fulfill the ‘duty,’ recognized by our Founding Fathers, to blow the whistle in the public interest.”
“In honor of ‘National Whistleblower Appreciation Day’ we call upon the President of the United States, and every public institution in the United States, to publicly celebrate the courage and sacrifices whistleblowers have made to American democracy, and to widely publish the words enacted by our Founding Fathers on July 30, 1778:
‘That it is the duty of all persons in the service of the United States, as well as all other the inhabitants thereof, to give the earliest information to Congress or other proper authority of ay misconduct, frauds or misdemeanors committed by any officers or persons in the service of these states, which may come to their knowledge.'”
The history behind the Founding Fathers’ support of whistleblowers was buried in the records of the Continental Congress for over 200 years, and was only rediscovered as part of the research behind the book, The Whistleblower’s Handbook : A Step-by-Step Guide to Doing What’s Right and Protecting Yourself (3rd Ed. 2013, Lyons Press).