I have to confess that one of my guilty pleasures is a good old whistle blowing scandal and I have certainly taken quite an interest in some of the more famous cases, many of which have been portrayed in films over the years – Karen Silkwood was played by Meryl Streep in a movie following her mysterious death in 1974 in the midst of a campaign to challenge Kerr-McGee about the safety of a nuclear facility. Similarly Al Pacino played Frank Serpico, a New York City Police Officer who attempted to confront the corruption within the Police Department. More recently Matt Damon played Mark Whitacre in The Informant – Whitacre worked with the FBI to expose price fixing in agriculture by his own company, Archer Daniels Midland. And of course we are all familiar with the story of Linda Tripp, a former member of staff at the White House, who was a key player in exposing the Monica Lewinsky scandal that led to an attempt to remove Bill Clinton as President.
Of course, not all whistle blowing cases are quite as famous or are made into movies but the subject is certainly one that can be difficult for employers to navigate.
Our expert legal partner, Sally Nesbitt of Pennington Manches LLP, has shared some of her insights on a recent case with us: