Appeals Court: Boeing Allowed To Fire Whistleblowers

In a ruling that’s sure to scuttle the urges of would-be whistleblowers who seek to expose wrongdoing by employers, an appeals court has allowed Boeing to fire two employees who leaked documents to the press that made the company look bad.

Wired reports that the fired whistleblowers, who were canned in 2008 after they released documents that seemed to indicate the company lacked safeguards for computer security, sought protection under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, which was meant to protect investors from secretive wrongdoing by publicly-held companies. A panel of 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals judges ruled that the law only protects the reporting of information to authorities, not the press.

The judges also noted that other whistleblower protection laws, which prevent businesses from firing employees for leaking info to the media, didn’t protect the employees because their info didn’t reveal “gross mismanagement, gross waste of funds, an abuse of authority or a substantial and specific danger to the public health or safety.”

If you’ve ever stuck out your neck to tell on an employer, share your tale in the comments.

Court OKs Firing of Boeing Computer-Security Whistleblowers [Wired]