Thirty years after NASA disaster, whistleblower’s identity revealed

[Cross-posted from Whistleblowing Today]

Thirty years ago today, the space shuttle Challenger exploded less than 2 minutes after lift-off, killing all seven astronauts on board. A few months later, two engineers talked about the disaster to National Public Radio on condition of anonymity, They revealed that they and three other engineers employed by NASA contractor Morton-Thiokol had warned that critical seals would fail in the below-freezing temperatures. NASA managers rejected their pleas for a launch delay.

The whistleblowing engineers were not initially identified. The identity of Roger Boisjoly was acknowledged after his death in 2012. Today, NPR revealed the identity of the second whistleblower, Bob Ebeling, with his permission.Continue reading

NYPD whistleblower settles claim against hospital

A New York City police officer has settled his complaint against a hospital that held him against his will in a psychiatric ward. The officer, Adrian Schoolcraft, claimed bosses ordered him arrested on and hospitalized in retaliation for his whistleblowing disclosure of arrest quotas and manipulation of crime statistics.

Schoolcraft previously settled claims against the New York Police Department for $600.000 plus back pay and benefits from 2009 until the end of this year.  Quoting “a source,” the New York Daily News reported that Schoolcraft’s total settlement with the city exceeds $1 million dollars and that “it’s highly likely he will retire from the force.Continue reading

North Carolinians welcome truth-tellers

AWTTT-poster

North Carolinians gave truth-tellers a good reception last week in Asheville, Raleigh, Fayetteville, Chapel Hill, Greensboro and Durham. John Kiriakou, the former CIA operative who exposed torture of terrorism suspects at Guantanamo prison, spoke to a standing-room-only crowd at North Carolina State University and also made appearances at N.C. Central University, Guilford College, UNC-Chapel Hill, and Quaker House.  (You can hear his interview at WUNC.)

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More whistleblower retaliation complaints substantiated in 2014

NAVEX Global, a provider of employee hotline and case management systems, reports that 27 percent of employee retaliation complaints were substantiated in 2014, a 125 percent increase over the previous year (PR Newswire, March 10).  While some might find that statistic discouraging, it suggests that employers are less often dismissing retaliation complaints without a fair investigation.  That’s important because retaliation has many negative impacts.

“Retaliation is perhaps the one compliance violation most likely to do irreparable damage to a company’s culture and employee morale,” said Carrie Penman, chief compliance officer and senior vice president, Advisory Services, NAVEX Global. “Retaliation is personal and strikes at the heart of an employee’s well-being: job assignments, pay and their sense of ‘belonging’ in the workplace community. It stifles transparency, erodes trust in leadership, eliminates future reports and, at its worst, it drives the disenfranchised employee outside the organization and into the arms of regulators.”

 

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