Whistleblowers Need Not Apply

55 Pages Posted: 8 Mar 2018 Last revised: 24 Nov 2018

See all articles by Leora F. Eisenstadt

Leora F. Eisenstadt

Temple University - Fox School of Business and Management

Jennifer M. Pacella

Indiana University, Kelley School of Business

Date Written: February 1, 2018


Whistleblowers are severely disadvantaged when they apply for jobs. Many whistleblowers experience retaliation twofold—once, at their place of employment after they initially blow the whistle, and, second, on the job market for any subsequent employment. This negative trail follows whistleblowers, labeling them as disloyal, suspicious, and, ultimately, not ideal employees and, thus, unable to find work. Current federal law largely ignores this problem, and protections for job applicants with whistleblowing histories have been severely lacking in some of the most prominent whistleblowing statutes. This Article is the first to examine this glaring lack of legal protections as it pertains specifically to whistleblower job applicants by undergoing a comparative analysis of the retaliation protections available in a number of federal statutes and suggesting statutory reform based on that analysis. Specifically, this Article draws comparisons between civil rights statutes, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, which each provide expansive protections for job applicants, and the most prominent current federal whistleblowing statutes, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the Dodd-Frank Act, and the False Claims Act, which lack these protections. "Whistleblowers Need Not Apply" concludes by recommending amendments to these federal whistleblowing statutes, arguing for specific retaliation protections and redress for whistleblowers who are denied a chance to work again because of their past revelations.

Keywords: Whistleblower, Employment Law, Job Applicants, Retaliation, Civil Rights Laws, Dodd-Frank, Sarbanes-Oxley, False Claims Act

Suggested Citation

Eisenstadt, Leora F. and Pacella, Jennifer M., Whistleblowers Need Not Apply (February 1, 2018). American Business Law Journal, 2018, Fox School of Business Research Paper No. 18-013, Baruch College Zicklin School of Business Research Paper No. 2018-05-02, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3129731

Leora F. Eisenstadt

Temple University - Fox School of Business and Management ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19122
United States

Jennifer M. Pacella (Contact Author)

Indiana University, Kelley School of Business ( email )

1309 East Tenth Street
Bloomington, IN 47405
United States

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