Cases with General Application for Whistleblower Protection

Federal Whistleblower Protection Cases with General Application

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The following cases set forth principles which have applicability to 2 or more whistleblower protection laws and have been used as authorities in whistleblower cases. However, most whistleblower laws have specific statutory provision and caution should be used when applying case precedent from one statute to another.

Desert Palace, Inc. v. Costa, 539 U.S. 90 (2003 (circumstantial evidence used to prove discrimination).

Burlington Northern v. White, 548 U.S. 53, 68 (2006) (leading case defining adverse action includes employer conduct that would dissuade a reasonable employee from engaing in protected activity).

 Staub v. Proctor Hospital, 131 U.S. 1186 (retaliation law created tort-like remedy and permitted court to hold hospital liable based on animus of supervisor who did not make the ultimate decision to fire employee).

Pickering v. Board, 391 US 563.

Burrage v. United States, 571 U.S. __ .

Gross v. FBL Financial Services Inc., 557 U.S. 167.

Making a Protected Disclosure

Sanjour v. EPA, 56 F.3d 85.

Garcetti v. Ceballos, 547 U.S. 410.

Carl v. Children’s Hospital, 701 A.2d 159.

Wiest v. Lynch, 710 F.3d 121.

Tides v. The Boeing Co., 644 F.3d 809.

Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)/Equal Pay Act, Nonretaliation Provisions (29 U.S.C. § 215(a)(3), 29 U.S.C. § 216 (penalties and damages) & 29 U.S.C. (Statute of limitations))

Kasten v. Saint-Gobain, 131 U.S. 1325 (2011) (oral complaints are covered as protected activity)

National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), Nonretaliation Provision, Unfair Labor Practices (29 U.S.C. 158(a)(4))

NLRB v. Scrivener, 405 U.S. 117 (1972) (applied a broad interpretation to the scope of protected activity) (precedent followed in other feral whistleblower laws).

Linn v. United Plant Guard, 383 U.S. 53, 62 (1966) (applying First Amendment principles to definition of protected speech und NLRA).

Gateway Coal v. UMWA, 414 U.S. 368 (1974); (Work stoppage to protest dangerous working conditions considered protected activity under the Labor Management Relations Act and NLRA).

Sure-Tan v. NLRB, 467 U.S. 883  (1984) (broad coverage under act/reporting undocumented workers to Immigration and Naturalization Service constituted unfair labor practice).

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