Carolyn Kendall and Dan Thornton Examine Pennsylvania's Whistleblower Law and Provide Related Guidance for Employers in The Legal Intelligencer's 2020 Employment Law Supplement
In an article for The Legal Intelligencer's 2020 Employment Law Supplement, Carolyn H. Kendall and Daniel F. Thornton examine whistleblower laws, specifically Pennsylvania's Whistleblower Law (PWL). The article provides employers with guidance about the PWL’s protections and restrictions, key considerations depending on whether an employer is sued in state or federal court, and practical suggestions for employers seeking to minimize their exposure.
The authors note:
"Recognizing that corporate whistleblowers play an important societal role in publicizing potential wrongdoing, our state and federal governments have taken strong measures to encourage conscientious employees to come forward without fear of retaliation. Besides offering potential monetary incentives under regimes like the federal False Claims Act—where relators can recoup a percentage of the government’s recovery—whistleblowers receive statutory protection from employer retaliation as a further incentive to step forward. In addition to such federal safeguards, the PWL provides another layer of protection to employees who blow the whistle on misconduct that affects public funds or violates state or federal law. When employers violate these laws, the penalties can be substantial, threatening the entire enterprise in severe cases. At the same time, employers who take vigorous and proactive compliance measures can minimize their whistleblower exposure while ensuring that employees with good-faith concerns are promptly and effectively heard."