Pushing to Make National Whistleblower Day Permanent

Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto is proud to be offering pro bono support to a whistleblower-led campaign to make National Whistleblower Day permanent. Since 2011, attorneys at Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto have worked hard to ensure that the historic passage of America’s first whistleblower law by the Founders of the United States is celebrated and its impact is understood.

Make National Whistleblower Day Permanent

The Campaign

In March 2023, a group of highly-respected whistleblowers announced a campaign to make National Whistleblower Day permanent. The whistleblowers are calling on President Biden to sign an Executive Order which permanently designates July 30 as National Whistleblower Day and requires all federal agencies to institute programming celebrating the day.

July 30 1778 is the day when the Founders of the United States met in Philadelphia and unanimously voted to support America’s first whistleblowers both financially and by enacting a law encouraging whistleblowing by every inhabitant of the newly formed United States of America.

Each year since 2013, the U.S. Senate has unanimously passed a Resolution designating July 30 as National Whistleblower Day. In recent years, a growing number of federal agencies have implemented programming and released statements informing employees of their whistleblower rights and celebrating the past contributions of whistleblowers.

“What will be critical in ensuring a healthy future for whistleblowing is something larger than any single piece of legislation: we need to change the culture,” wrote FBI whistleblower Jane Turner in an op-ed about the campaign published in Whistleblower Network News. “We must adopt a new way to handle employees who speak truth to power when faced with criminality, corruption, and misconduct. Most of the time, whistleblowers are met with marginalization, retaliation, and termination. We need to flip the script on societal attitudes toward whistleblowers. Instead of seeing them as ‘skunks at a picnic,’ we must recognize whistleblowers for their bravery and integrity.”

The history of America’s first whistleblower law was uncovered by Kohn, Kohn and Colapinto founding partner Stephen M. Kohn, and first made public in The Whistleblower’s Handbook (Lyons Press 2011). Kohn has continued his research into the dramatic events that led to passing this law, which will be discussed in his latest book, Rules for Whistleblowers: A Handbook for Doing What’s Right (Lyons Press 2023).

For more information and to join the campaign visit: https://whistleblowersblog.org/nwdcampaign/

The Whistleblowers

The five whistleblowers leading the campaign all know firsthand the sacrifices that come with whistleblowing, as well as the transformative impact whistleblowing can have. Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto is proud to have represented a number of the whistleblowers.

Jane Turner was a highly decorated 25-year veteran of the FBI who was removed from her position after documenting a seriously botched child sex crime case committed by agents of the FBI. Turner successfully fought her removal, winning a precedent setting case before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Turner also reported illegal theft by federal officials at the 9/11 World Trade Center crime scene. Her disclosures were backed-up by the DOJ Inspector General, and systemic reforms were approved. She again suffered retaliation, and again won her whistleblower case.

Bunny Greenhouse exposed Government Procurement Fraud. She objected to illegal no-bid contracts between Halliburton and the Army Corps of Engineers for the reconstruction of Iraq after the 2003 invasion. Greenhouse, at the time the highest-ranking civilian-contracting official at the Army Corps of Engineers, had chief responsibility for reviewing adherence to Pentagon rules intended to shield awards from outside influence and promote competition. Her disclosures cost her her career, but also resulted in significant reforms prohibiting no-bid contracts.

Dr. Aaron Westrick was the research director for America’s largest body armor company – Second Chance Body Armor – and was the first official to oppose the sale of bulletproof vests made with Zylon fiber. His False Claims Act lawsuit against the manufacturers of these defective vests forced them off the market, which in turn saved police officers’ lives.

Dr. Frederic Whitehurst was the FBI’s leading expert on explosives who blew the whistle on misconduct within the FBI Crime Lab. By the time his whistleblowing was done, he had forced the FBI to accredit its laboratory and obtained outside oversight of the FBI for the first time in history. His whistleblower case forced President Clinton to issue a directive granting whistleblower rights to every FBI agent.

Sherron Watkins is often referred to as the “Enron whistleblower.” Watkins was the Enron vice president who wrote a letter to chairman Kenneth Lay in the summer of 2001 warning him that the company’s methods of accounting were improper. In recognition of her whistleblowing, Watkins (along with Coleen Rowley and Cynthia Cooper) was named Time Persons of the Year in 2002.

Our Firm's Pro Bono Efforts

Pre-Order Today

Rules for Whistleblowers

A Handbook for Doing What's Right

All purchases or donations proceeds go to support the National Whistleblower Center, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to supporting whistleblowers.

What's Inside

This books covers all federal and state laws regarding whistleblowing, including protections, rewards, and procedures for whistleblowing.

Meet the Author

Stephen M. Kohn is considered the world’s leading authority on international whistleblower law, and behind some of todays modern whistleblower rules.

Introduction: The Revolutionary Roots of Modern Whistleblowing

Law Library

The Law Library is a free companion to the Rules for Whistleblowers, complete with relevant whistleblower cases and important links and resources.

Speaking Engagement

Stephen Kohn enjoys speaking to universities of all sizes, students and professionals, the media, general public, and government officials.

Shipping is to the United States Only

For international orders, please contact orders@kkc.com.