In the midst of the Revolutionary War, ten sailors brought the first whistleblowing case in our nation’s history against the Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Navy. Although the nature of their accusations remains disputed until today, those individuals were our nation’s first whistleblowers, and their actions laid the ground for today’s National Whistleblower Appreciation Day.
The sailors accused Esek Hopkins of mistreating prisoners and other deficiencies. On July 30th, 1778, and the Continental Congress decided to sanction Hopkins, who held a naval rank equivalent to George Washington’s at the time. The Congress also paid for the sailors’ legal fees in a case brought against them by Hopkins.
Uncovering fraud both within and outside our government remains as controversial but no less necessary today. To commemorate the legacy of our nation’s first whistleblowers and highlight the important role they still play today, we honor all they’ve done for our country every July 30th.
How Did National Whistleblower Day Start?
National Whistleblower Day began in 2014 when Sen. Chuck Grassley sponsored and submitted a simple resolution to recognize July 30 as “National Whistleblower Appreciation Day.” The U.S. Senate approved it the same day, and continues to reauthorize the celebration. Sen. Grassley submitted this year’s resolution just a few days ago.
Sen. Grassley and the rest of the Senate recognized and continue to recognize the heroism of whistleblowers. The resolution highlighted some of the good whistleblowers do, like how they “save taxpayers in the United States billions of dollars each year and serve the public interest by ensuring that the United States remains an ethical and safe place,” and comply with federal law by reporting misconduct.
Why Whistleblowers Matter
Whistleblowers are important because they bring misconduct to light by exposing waste, fraud, and abuse that plagues some of the most vulnerable areas of government, including:
The potential for defrauding the government is enormous, and above are just a few of the ways fraud appears. The U.S. Department of Justice recently announced a crackdown on healthcare fraud enforcement, arresting more than 400 people allegedly responsible for around $1.3 billion in false billings. The government currently recovers around $3 billion annually from whistleblower actions, making whistleblowers an indispensible asset when it comes to rooting out deception.
Eliminating fraud is a dangerous business, and courageously stepping forward can put you in hot water with your employer, coworkers, and industry.
Our whistleblower attorneys have the knowledge and connections to bring your case to the government’s attention. We can help you persuade the government to get involved, prepare you for any requests it may have, and work to protect your identity and you from retaliation. Contact us today.