Whistleblower is just a term applied to an individual who reveals misconduct within an organization, to the general public or to those in positions of authority. The whistleblower is just a person, usually a member of staff, in a government agency or private enterprise who makes a disclosure to the general public or to those in power, of mismanagement, dishonesty, illegality, or various other wrongdoing.
Because the 1960s, the general public value of whistleblower has been increasingly recognized. Federal and state statutes and regulations have been enacted to protect whistleblowers from various kinds of retribution. Even with no statute, several decisions encourage and protect protections for whistleblowers whistleblowers on grounds of public policy. The federal False Claims Act (31 U.S.C.A. § 3729) also rewards a whistleblower that brings a lawsuit against a company, making a forged claim or commits fraud from the government.
People performing the role of whistleblowers are usually the subject material of retaliation by their employers. Normally the employer discharges the whistleblower, who is often an at-will employee. At-will employees are people with no specific term of employment. The employee may quit anytime and the employer has the right to fire the employee without having to quote a reason. However, the judiciary and legislatures have formed exceptions for whistleblowers that are at-will employees. Employees who blow the whistle on issues that affect only private interests will generally be unsuccessful in maintaining a cause of action for expulsion in violation of public policy. As a general rule, employees asserting that they certainly were dismissed for disclosing internal corporate misconducts have been unsuccessful in determining public policy exceptions to the at-will rule. It can also be seen that grievances about internal company policy do not involve public policy supporting unjust dismissal suits.
Many states have enforced whistleblower statutes to protect and safeguard the interests of the whistleblower, but these statutes vary widely in coverage. Some statutes tend to use simply to public employees, some apply to both public and private employees, and others apply to public employees and employees of public contractors.