Tagged Articles

ethics 14 articles

So-called Ag-Gag Bill attempts To Make Agriculture Industry Whistleblowing a Crime

A new anti-whistleblower “Ag-Gag” bill was introduced in the Arkansas legislature last month, marking the fourth attempt by some of the state’s elected officials to try and make reporting wrongdoing in the agricultural industry a punishable offense. According to the Food Integrity Campaign, the proposed bill HB 1665 is also the most nefarious of the Ag-Gag bills introduced to the Arkansas legislature in recent years because it seeks to gag would-be whistleblowers not just in agriculture, but in other industries as well. The Food Integrity Campaign writes: What could make a bill designed to make it illegal to document crimes ... Read More

West Virginia Lawmaking Efforts Seek to Improve Whistleblower Protections, Government Ethics

Two new bills designed to strengthen government ethics and boost whistleblower protections have glided through the West Virginia House of Delegates. House Judiciary Chairman John Shott introduced H.B. 2006 to toughen penalties on individuals who retaliate against state workers for providing regulators and other authorities with information concerning fraud or waste targeting government agencies. West Virginia’s state whistleblower law prohibits retaliation against those who expose fraud and waste, but the fines for violating the law are flimsy. H.B. 2006 would boost the penalty for violating whistleblower protections from $500 to $5,000. The bill would also authorize state agencies to fire ... Read More

Wells Fargo Execs Address Whistleblower Complaints, Ethics Problems

The Chief Executive Officer of Wells Fargo & Co. told a gathering of employees earlier this month that the bank plans to change how it handles whistleblower complaints after several employees complained of facing retribution for reporting sales abuses to an ethics hotline. Speaking to about 2,000 Wells Fargo employees in Des Moines, Iowa, CEO Tim Sloan did not offer any details about the San Francisco-based bank will address whistleblower complaints in the future, but his talk was part of a nationwide “conversations tour” he and other executives have embarked on to boost employee morale and restore public trust. In ... Read More

Whistleblower Files $1.5-Million Retaliation Suit Against Kennesaw State University

An employee of Kennesaw State University has filed a $1.5-million whistleblower retaliation lawsuit against the school, alleging she continues to be harassed for calling out ethics violations by certain university leaders. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Tracy Nunn, a former administrative assistant to the executive director of culinary services, filed the lawsuit Monday in the Superior Court of Fulton County, seeking compensation for the university’s alleged violations of the Georgia Whistleblower Protection Act. The lawsuit comes amid a series of high-level firings and abrupt resignations that have plagued the university in recent months, including President Dan Papp, who resigned after ... Read More

UC Davis Withdraws Appeal, Pays Whistleblower $1.7 Million

The University of California Davis has withdrawn its appeal and will pay a former administrative nurse $1.7 million to resolve a whistleblower retaliation case that has been in litigation for more than five years. Former UC Davis administrative research nurse Janet Keyzer sued the university in 2010 in Sacramento Superior Court, alleging it unlawfully retaliated against her for repeatedly voicing concerns to her superiors that the research project on which she was working, which evaluated pain diagnosis and treatment among disabled state prisoners, did not meet research requirements and ethical standards involving human subjects. Soon after she began expressing her concerns, ... Read More

Jury awards UC Davis whistleblower $730,000 in retaliation case

A former University of California Davis administrative nurse who sued the university for retaliating against her when she blew the whistle on an unethical research project received a $730,000 jury award. Janet Keyzer, a nurse for three decades with a Ph.D. in human and community development, filed her whistleblower complaint in June 2010 in Sacramento Superior Court, alleging her career was destroyed after the university took a series of retaliatory actions against her. The plaintiff worked as a researcher for the UC Davis Center for Healthcare Policy and Research for more than nine years before she was allegedly fired in ... Read More

Oregon pays $450,000 to settle whistleblower allegations of wrongdoing in state prison system

The State of Oregon will pay a former state prison executive $450,000 to settle his whistleblower claims that he was terminated for exposing dubious spending and hiring practices within the Oregon Department of Corrections. According to The Oregonian, the settlement is one of the largest payoffs the state has made in recent history. It includes $25,000 for financial losses, $150,000 for attorney fees, and $275,000 for emotional distress whistleblower plaintiff Rob Killgore attributed to corrections officials lashing out against him. Mr. Killgore was the administrator of Oregon Corrections Enterprises (OCE), a semi-independent agency that runs factories, call centers and other ... Read More

Defense Department bill institutes better protections for whistleblowers

An estimated 12 million people who receive federal grants and contracts will now also receive whistle-blower protections and legal recourse under a new defense bill sent to President Barack Obama in December. The $633-billion bill, which passed the Senate 81-14, covers the cost of aircraft, ships, weapons, military personnel, Energy Department nuclear defense programs, and the war in Afghanistan. It also contains provisions that would help protect these federal funds against fraud and waste while offering whistle blowers better protections in reporting abuse. Under the new bill, workers who are fired or harassed for reporting fraud, waste, abuse, and ethical ... Read More

BP-affiliated law firm hired to advise oil spill claimants in Mississippi

Years from now, law students may study the case of Ken Feinberg and his handling of BP oil spill claims in their textbook chapter about legal ethics and conflicts of interest. Mr. Feinberg — the man appointed to oversee the BP oil spill claims process through the Gulf Coast Claims Facility (GCCF) — is on BP’s payroll to the tune of $850,000 per month. This is the man who decides how much individuals and businesses harmed by BP’s massive Gulf oil spill will be reimbursed and when they will be paid, and all the conditions that apply. But that’s not all. Mr. ... Read More

Chinese manufacturers substitute toxic cadmium for lead

Earlier this month, the Associated Press exposed yet another disturbing Chinese trade secret when it reported that some manufacturers in China are making children’s jewelry with the highly toxic metal cadmium. Children’s jewelry now joins the growing list of dangerous and sometimes deadly products pouring into the United States from China – a list that includes toys covered with lead paint, pet food and baby formula tainted with melamine, sulfuric drywall that has ruined thousands of homes, and other poorly made or defective merchandise. Evidence suggests that Chinese manufacturers are turning to cadmium as a substitute for lead, which the ... Read More