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Whistle-Blower Protection

Karen Silkwood, Cheryl Echard, and Edward Snowden all claimed that their actions were taken to expose mismanagement, corruption, illegality, or wrongdoing, the general definition of whistle-blowing. Each has in various ways attempted to invoke whistle-blower protections but with notably different outcomes. Silkwood died under suspicious circumstances, and Echard entered the witness protection program where she ultimately received $96 million. Snowden, a National Security Agency programmer, fled to Russia with U.S. security data. However, these situations raise the question, “When should whistle-blowers receive protection against reprisal?” This entry addresses the definitions of whistle-blower protection, its history and general scope, current protections available through federal and state law, laws of other countries, and the state of implementation of these protections.

The term whistle-blower, coined by Ralph Nader, draws ...

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