How We Work by Protecting Whistleblowers
PEER assists federal, state and local public employees in fighting for the ethical management of our natural resources, strong environmental laws, and policies, and accountability and transparency in government actions.
As a service organization, the vast majority of PEER actions are based on requests from current and former public employees. Since our founding in 1992, thousands of scientists, law enforcement officers, land managers, attorneys, and other professionals have worked with PEER to help make the government accountable to the public and to protect employees who protect the environment.
Blowing the Whistle
PEER attorneys specialize in whistleblower protections, First Amendment rights, and civil service laws. We represent our clients pro bono. PEER attorneys do not charge for their services.
While PEER protects environmental and public health whistleblowers, we typically recommend against formal whistleblowing. That is both because there are often other, more effective and less costly alternatives and because it is important to keep conscientious people inside public service – not exiled as martyrs. However, if your efforts to protect the environment have already gotten you in trouble, we will use whistleblower and other laws to defend you in administrative or court proceedings.
Shining the Light
PEER works with current and former government employees, usually anonymously, to address issues through official channels and to bring information and issues into the light of day. We file document requests, conduct employee surveys, advocate for policy and regulatory reforms, issue press releases and background papers, and publish documents that the government wants to keep hidden. We sue the government when necessary.
We often ask government oversight bodies to investigate improper or illegal governmental actions. This helps ensure that elected leaders and the public have information to make better decisions.
Improving Laws and Regulations
PEER engages in litigation and administrative processes not only to protect the rights of employees, but also to ensure the use of science and sound policy in decision-making, the enforcement and implementation of environmental laws, and to protect the rule of law. We also advocate to improve whistleblower protections, scientific integrity and administrative processes.
Working with Other Groups
We partner with other groups on projects and litigation and we provide advice and counsel to non-profit organizations on issues within our areas of expertise.