While PEER protects environmental and public health whistleblowers, almost daily the best thing we do is talk people out of blowing the whistle. 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.
Consider that whistleblower litigation is among the least efficient ways to address the underlying environmental concern over which you are willing to risk your career. The litigation turns on a personnel issue (was a termination wrongful or a transfer retaliatory?). It is beyond the jurisdiction of the judicial forum you are before to correct the environmental malfeasance of the agency. Whether you are right is usually not the dispositive issue – and in some cases it is flat out irrelevant.
We often say that if you are going to fight a government agency, the worst place to do so is from inside your own personnel jacket. That is the terrain an agency prefers because it is easier to make you the issue and distract from the real problem it does not want the public to grasp.
PEER offers a range of services to help deliver the message while shielding the messenger. The title of the survival guide we give to employees on the cusp of crisis, The Art of Anonymous Activism, is suggestive of these other approaches.
Having said that, there are many instances where public servants are put into whistleblower situations by circumstances not of their own making or are forced to take a stand. In those cases, this center is intended to provide information to help inform choices about the strongest legal avenues and expected outcomes.
Nothing in this center anywhere else on the peer.org website should be construed as an attempt to offer or render a legal opinion or otherwise engage in the practice of law. The legal information provided on this website is of a general nature and is not meant to be a substitute for the advice of a licensed professional i.e., a competent authority with specialized knowledge who can apply it to the particular circumstances of your case.
Please contact a local bar association, or similar association of attorneys in your jurisdiction to obtain a referral to a competent legal professional if you do not have such representation. Also, you may want to visit the Resources portion of our Science Legal Resources Center.
In addition, no warranty whatsoever is made for any of the information displayed here. Statutes can change, sometimes quite quickly. A law may have been m modified or overturned by subsequent development since the entry was made. PEER reserves the right to make changes, corrections and/or improvements in the materials in this center at any time and without notice. In addition, PEER disclaims any and all liability for damages incurred directly or indirectly as a result of errors, omissions or discrepancies.