October 2nd, 2011
Tonight I sent an email to Congressman Henry Waxman, who was instrumental in obtaining the passage of the “No Fear Act“, promising government employees that they cannot be subjected to reprisals when reporting legal and/or ethical violations by fellow employees and superiors in their workplaces. This was important landmark legislation since reprisals are a well known deterrent to civil servants offering testimony regarding corruption at work. This comes at a heavy cost to taxpayers in terms of both money and access to needed services.
This act doesn’t help the average citizen who is very likely to witness harmful activities in daily life at some point or other. Where is our protection against retaliation should we choose to report such observations or even simply be identified as potential witnesses to crime? Retaliation can lead to the loss of jobs, homes, friends and family members, and even lives when beleaguered individuals are bullied into committing suicide. We’ve seen such things happen to teens in recent months and lack the protections that employees can obtain if we contact law enforcement officials to intervene in such matters.
Without such protections, lax though they may be, we are never going to be a society in which neighbors can count upon one another for aid and intervention when threatened or harmed by known or unknown persons. My request to Representative Waxman asked that senior legislator to sponsor a bill offering such protections to you and I.
If you support such a concept, please add your voice to mine and write to him at his district office here. Someday, your life may depend upon it.