Ben Graham (Richard Coyle) and Alisha Cole (Indira Varma) are two lawyers about to witness something that will take them into a world of few moral certainties. They observe a miscarriage of justice on their own doorstep and, instead of giving in to the temptation to look the other way, they speak out. However, by trying to do the right thing, Ben and Alisha suddenly find themselves on the other side of the law enemies of the state.
Runtime: 60 minutes
The Whistleblowers - Whistleblower protection in the United States - Netflix
A whistleblower is a person who exposes any kind of information or activity that is deemed illegal, unethical, or not correct within an organization that is either private or public. The Whistleblower Protection Act was made into federal law in the United States in 1989. It was made to protect federal whistleblowers who work for the government and report agency misconduct. Whistleblower protection laws and regulations guarantee freedom of speech for workers and contractors in certain situations. Whistleblowers have the right to file complaints that they believe are reasonable evidences of a violation of a law, rule or regulation; gross mismanagement; gross waste of funds; an abuse of authority; or a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety.
The Whistleblowers - Meetings - Netflix
The direct supervisor may order an employee to attend a meeting. The employee must attend a meeting during regular working hours, but there are limitations. U.S. government employees cannot leave the meeting or work area, except in situations involving disability or illness. Government leave policy is established by public law. Employees working for private companies operate under different rules, and if state laws require time for employee breaks and meals, restricting employee movement could be an arrest in some areas. Due to unequal protection, government employees are at greater risk of serious abuse by managers. The state labor board should be consulted for more information. One word of caution is that Fifth Amendment protection may be lost if the employee answers questions, and it is necessary to reassert this right during the meeting after answering any questions. The meeting may involve very little conversation after the employee has asserted their constitutional rights and demanded the details of the accusation. The employee must also assert their rights. Department of Labor should be consulted for more information. Employees must assert additional rights when ordered to attend a meeting that may involve any type of dispute. There is nothing that requires an employee to provide any information during a meeting if the topic involves a labor dispute, but the employee is entitled to be told the specific nature of any possible dispute. The following should be demanded: Job description Performance evaluation criteria Performance evaluation Improvement expectations Employees must never make false statements during any meeting, and meeting participants risk fine or prison when false statements are made when a federal worker is present. False statements made in the presence of a federal employee are a crime, and this includes any statement made during an official meeting at a federal facility. Some states may have similar laws. A court order may be required for telephone voice recording in some areas. Ordinary voice recording in some areas, such as California, requires consent of all parties before the recording can be used in a courtroom or during arbitration. Most meeting minutes are documented in writing by all parties, and the minutes are signed and dated at the end of the meeting. The employees should request the specific nature of any accusation under the Sixth Amendment with the assumption that an unresolved dispute will be decided in a courtroom under the protections provided by the Seventh Amendment. Employees cannot be compelled to answer questions about potential crimes under the assumption that all such questions fall under the protection of the Fifth Amendment. No employee may be denied these protections for any reason. The specific constitutional protections are as follows: Fifth: ... nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law ... Sixth: ... the accused shall enjoy the right ... to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him ... Seventh: ... where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved ... Fourteenth: ... nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws ... If the meeting is a disciplinary hearing or a performance appraisal meeting for a government employee, and if the employee is told that any area of job performance is less-than-perfect, then the employee is entitled to be told about specific improvements for each less-than-perfect rating. The appraisal must fall within the boundaries of the job description. If any area of the appraisal falls outside the scope of any diploma, license, or prior training used during the hiring process, then the employer is responsible for training necessary to improve the skills that are part of the evaluation. The employer is required to allow an improvement period before reevaluation. Some employers may require employees to pay for their own training in some areas as a hiring condition. Another protection is false imprisonment. The employer cannot lock doors and cannot forcibly move the employee against their will, unless an arrest has been performed, including a Miranda warning. The Sixth amendment requires that the employee must be told about the reason when moved against their will or detained against their will. Rules vary by state, but employees are usually entitled to a 15-minute paid break every 2 hours and 1 hour unpaid meals every 4 hours. In most states, employees are entitled to overtime for any missed break periods, and state labor protection rules extend to federal workers. One of the benefits of union representation is Weingarten rights to reduce employer abuse. Employees not represented by a union may have limited Weingartern rights, and may not be entitled to witnesses during a meeting. The employee and the union representative have the right to management information related to the dispute and both the employee and the union representative may take an active role during any meetings. Weingarten rights are as follows: Employee has the right to union representation during discussion requested by management Employee must ask a manager if the discussion may involve disciplinary action Employee must ask the union steward to attend the discussion Employee must inform employer that union representation has been requested If employer refuses union representation: State “If this discussion could in any way result in my being disciplined or terminated then I respectfully request union representation. I choose to not respond to questions or statements without union representation.” Take notes, do not answer questions, do not sign documents, and inform union after discussion Employee has the right to speak privately with union representation before the discussion and during the discussion The union representative is an active participant. He or she is not just a passive witness. Government employees also have Garrity rights to assert Fifth Amendment protection related to employment that is completely different from Miranda rights that apply to employees working for private companies. One issue with public employees is that certain workplace situations violate public law. Government employees that deviate from office procedures may violate laws, such as the New Jersey ticket fixing scandal and the Minnesota ticket fixing scandal. Employees that carry pesticide into the workplace from home violate the Hazard Communication Standard. Managers may threaten to take disciplinary employment action if an employee fails to disclose criminal activity. Government employees also have Garrity rights, and must assert the following when questioned by management. This must be separate from any report or statement from management if made in writing. “On __— (date) _— (time), at __— (place) I was ordered by ___— (superior officer, name & rank) to submit this report (statement) as a condition of continued employment. In view of possible job forfeiture, I have no alternative, but to abide by this order and to submit this compelled report (statement). It is my belief and understanding that this report (statement) will not and cannot be used against me by any governmental agency or related entity in any subsequent proceedings, other than disciplinary proceedings within the confines of the department itself. For any and all other purposes, I hereby assert my constitutional right to remain silent under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution and any other rights prescribed by (state) laws. Further, I rely specifically upon the protection afforded me under the doctrines set forth in Garrity v New Jersey, 385 US 493 (1967), Gardner v Broderick, 392 US 273 (1968), and their progeny, should this report (statement) be used for any other purpose of whatsoever kind or description.” The employer shall not order or otherwise compel a public employee, under threat of discipline, to waive the immunity of the asserted Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination with respect to any submitted statement or report or answers to questions. (Employees shall not condition their compliance with a lawful order to submit reports, statements, etc. on non-disclosure to third parties by the employer.) Propriety of the discipline shall be determined through the collective bargaining agreement grievance arbitration process.
The Whistleblowers - References - Netflix