The Supreme Court is now hearing a case concerning whistle blowers that will have a large impact on the public being protected from over charges (usually huge companies such as defense contractors) to the federal government and faulty products sold to consumers.
Whistle blowers are people who are working for the company and knowing what is being done come forward to report the criminal activity. This is not an easy thing to do because the repercussions for the person are grave. Most lose their job of course, but often they are then known in their field as unreliable and find it difficult to get another job. Employers want people who are “loyal” to the company and whistle blowers it seems are considered disloyal. No matter that they are protecting the public, no matter that they are doing the right thing. They were disloyal to their employer and are therefore unreliable employees.
It was for this reason that whistle blowers were offered up to 25% of what ever monies are recovered by the government for over charges. In this particular case Rockwell International, now a part of aerospace giant Boeing Co had to pay the government $4.2 million for fraud connected to environmental clean up at the Rocky Flats plant northwest of Denver. A former employee, James Stone reported the fraud. The case is not to prove Rockwell not guilty of fraud, but to stop Stone from receiving any reward for his part in exposing the company. If the Supreme Court rules for the company this will send a loud and clear message to anyone who may be thinking about exposing fraudulent behavior by their employer.
First, let me make this clear, no one becomes a whistle blower for money! If there is a reward it usually takes years and years to receive it and in the meantime the persons career is surely destroyed. Whistle blowers are individuals who take this chance because of conscience. The reward of a portion of the recovered tax payers money stolen by the company is merely that, a reward that is probably very much needed by the individual.
You see why if Rockwell International wins the case the public stands to be the losers. Fewer people will be willing to expose fraud. Let us hope the Justices rule for the people this time rather than for big business as they did in the eminent domain case.