Federal Law Fails To Protect Health and Safety Whistleblowers

December 14, 2011

Government whistleblowers can be an investigative journalist's best sources. But many are helpless against retaliation by agency officials whose failures to protect the public they reveal. One example is Walt Tamosaitis.

Tamosaitis, who works for an Energy Department subcontractor, told a Senate panel on December 6, 2011, that when he raised technical issues about whether nuclear waste cleanup was being done right at the Hanford Site in Washington, he was taken off the project and exiled to the basement.

The Senate panel is considering legislation that would beef up federal whistleblower protections, which are considered toothless by whistleblower groups.