POGO does not endorse or recommend any of these organizations. This is merely a list of resources that have proved useful to whistleblowers in the past.
The law firms listed below have experience working with whistleblowers and federal employees.
Bernabei & Wachtel is a Washington, DC, law firm that has been recognized nationally in employment law, sexual harassment law, whistleblower law, and civil liberties & civil rights matters.
Contact Info: (202) 745-1942 // 1775 T Street NW, Washington, DC 20009
Mark Conrad is an experienced litigator who spent 27 years as a criminal investigator for United States Customs’ Office of Investigation and Office of Internal Affairs and 5 years as a professor of criminal justice. Mr. Conrad now has his own practice and is also a part of LEOAC (Law Enforcement Officers Advocates Council), which seeks to offer representation to law enforcement agents and to assist whistleblowers and those facing adverse actions by their agencies. Mr. Conrad, based in Texas, specializes in defending Homeland Security employees. LEOAC is based in California.
Contact Info: (832) 990-4062 // 28106 Doverbrook Dr., Huffman, Texas 77336
The Employment Law Group is a law firm recognized as a leader in employment law litigation, and has become one of the leading national law firms representing individuals victimized by those who abuse positions of authority in business and government. Specialize is workplace discrimination/harassment, Qui Tam cases, nuclear, wrongful termination and wage litigation. Based out of DC, LA, San Francisco and Largo, MD.
Contact Info: (202) 331-3911 // 888 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20006
Elitok and Hartnett at Law, PLLC provides provide individualized, client-centered, professional legal services at affordable rates. The firm specializes in individual and business immigration matters and representing employees in a wide range of employment rights litigation.
Contact Info: (202) 965-0529 // 1101 30th St., NW, Suite 500, Washington, DC 20007
Government Accountability Project (GAP) is driven by its mission to protect the public interest and promote government and corporate accountability by advancing occupational free speech, providing legal defense to whistleblowers and empowering citizen activists. GAP advises public agencies and legislative bodies about management policies and practices that help government deal more effectively with substantive information and concerns, while protecting the jobs and identities of those who provide this critical information.
Contact Info: (202) 457-0034 // 1612 K Street NW, Washington, DC 20006
Guttman, Buschner & Brooks PLLC is a law firm with expertise in litigation under the False Claims Act, employment, environmental, corporate governance actions, complex commercial litigation and other common law rights of action. Reuben Guttman is a founding partner and is a leading whistleblower attorney. He represents clients in claims brought under the Federal False Claims Act, securities laws, the Price Anderson Act, and various employment discrimination, labor and environmental statutes.
Contact Info: (202) 386-9500 // 1920 L Street NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20036
Gwilliam, Ivary, Chiosso, Cavalli & Brewer is a law firm serving Oakland, San Francisco, Berkeley, Hayward, Walnut Creek, and all of Northern California. Their attorneys have successfully represented whistleblowers in the past and they specialize in personal injury, employment law (including Whistleblower and wrongful termination), business law, and medical malpractice. Based in California.
Contact Info: (866) 675-1929 // 1999 Harrison Street, Oakland, CA 94612
Hanford Challenge is an organization that works to hold the Hanford Site in Washington State accountable. This goal is accomplished through protecting whistleblowers, promoting discovery of common ground among traditional opponents, conducting environmental sampling, and generating creative resolutions and collaborative opportunities for improving the cleanup. Hanford Challenge works closely with concerned employees, insiders, retired employees, and whistleblowers to assure that their voices can be safely heard within the Department of Energy and contractor communities. Dialogue is the preferred method of issue resolution, however, Hanford Challenge uses litigation when necessary.
Contact Info: (206) 292-2850 // 2719 E Madison St #304, Seattle, WA 98112
Katz, Marshall & Banks is a boutique employment, whistleblower and civil rights law firm specializing in the representation of plaintiffs in the areas of employment law, sexual harassment law, Sarbanes-Oxley (a law that increased punishments for fraudulent financial activity, independence of outside auditors, and oversight role of board of directors) and other whistleblower claims, disability law, and civil rights and civil liberties matters. The firm has been recognized as leading employment and whistleblower firm.
Contact Info: (202) 299-1140 // 1718 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20009
Kerr & Wagstaffe is a law firm that provides representation in trial and appellate matters in a wide variety of cases, representing plaintiffs and defendants. The firm handles cases involving complex commercial litigation, class actions, intellectual property, insurance policyholder rights, employment, victim’s rights, government law, the First Amendment/Anti-SLAPP/Defamation, and trust litigation.
Contact Info: (415) 858-6979 // 101 Mission St., 18th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94105
Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto is a Washington, DC, law firm focused on whistleblower protection. The firm specializes in False Claims Act, corporate whistleblowers, government whistleblowers, environment and health, FOIA, national security, and Congressional hearings.
Contact Info: (202) 342-6980 // 3233 P Street NW, Washington, DC 20007
Mehri & Skalet is a law firm that has experience with the False Claims Act and Qui Tam suits and specializes in civil rights and fraud cases.
Contact Info: (202) 822-5100 // 1250 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036
National Employment Lawyers Association is a database of lawyers across the country that work to advance employee rights and for equality and justice in the workplace.
Contact Info: (415) 296-7629 // 2201 Broadway, Suite 402, Oakland, CA 94612
Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) is an organization that works nation-wide with government scientists, land managers, environmental law enforcement agents, field specialists and other resource professionals committed to responsible management of America’s public resources. Resource employees in government agencies have unique responsibilities as stewards of the environment. PEER supports those who are courageous and idealistic enough to seek a higher standard of environmental ethics and scientific integrity within their agency.
Contact Info: (202) 265-PEER (7337) // 2000 P Street NW, Washington, DC 20036
Phillips and Cohen is a law firm that represents whistleblowers in Qui Tam, IRS, SEC, Medicare fraud and CFTC (U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission) cases. Services provided nationally and around the world, based out of DC and San Francisco.
Contact Info: (202) 833-4567 // 2000 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036
T.M. Guyer, Ayers & Friends, P.C. is a law firm that represents whistleblowers and employees who have been retaliated against for doing the right thing, including new TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program, a U.S. program to purchase assets and equity from financial institutions to strengthen the financial sector), Recovery Act and Stimulus Plan whistleblowers.
Contact Info: 1(888) 866-4720 // 116 Mistletoe Street, Medford, OR 97501
The Warren Benson Law Group is a law firm that has filed hundreds of False Claims Act lawsuits alleging fraud by government contractors. Specializes in Qui Tam cases and have prosecuted in over 30 states. Based out of LA, San Diego and Anchorage and responsible for precedent setting QT cases.
Contact Info: 1(800) 844-4406 // 620 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach, CA 92660
Mark S. Zaid, P.C. is a law firm that handles security clearance issues, first amendment prepublication review, federal personnel actions, Office of Inspector General investigations, and whistleblowing complaints. Based in DC.
Contact Info: (202) 454-2809 // 1250 Connecticut Avenue NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC, 20036
Zuckerman Law is a law firm that litigates whistleblower retaliation, qui tam, wrongful discharge, discrimination, non-compete, and other employment-related claims, and authors the Whistleblower Protection Law Blog. Recently, Jason Zuckerman worked at the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, the federal agency charged with protecting whistleblowers in the federal government. In addition, he served on the Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee, which makes recommendations to the Secretary of Labor to improve the fairness, efficiency, effectiveness, and transparency of OSHA’s administration of whistleblower protections.
Contact Info: (202) 262-8959 // 1629 K Street NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20006
Zuckerman Spaeder is a law firm that has represented both individuals and companies in whistleblower claims. Works with government ethics/political law and white collar and government investigations. Based in DC with offices in NY, Baltimore, and Miami.
Contact Info: (202) 778-1800 // 1800 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20036
Other Legal Resources
These organizations can provide legal information and services for whistleblowers. In some cases, these resources may be able to provide legal services.
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is a group that has worked with over 300 organizations in the Make It Safe Coalition, which is working to strengthen whistleblower protections. It also provides legal help with surveillance and privacy, and racial discrimination. ACLU has national offices in each state but is based in NY.
Contact Info: (212) 549-2500 // 125 Broad Street, 18th Floor, New York, NY 10004
LexisNexis’ Lawyers.com is a website that provides a free collection of up-to-date legal news, articles, reactions, comments, and authoritative reference materials from leading sources.
National Whistleblower Center is a nonprofit educational advocacy organization that works for the enforcement of environmental laws, nuclear safety, civil rights and government and industry accountability through the support and representation of employee whistleblowers. The primary goal of the Center is to ensure that whistleblower disclosures about improper government and industry actions that are harmful to the environment and the public health are defended and heard.
Contact Info: (202) 342-1903 // 3238 P Street NW, Washington, DC 20007
Taxpayers Against Fraud (TAF) is a nonprofit public interest organization dedicated to combating fraud against the Federal Government through the promotion of the qui tam provisions of the federal False Claims Act and the filing of whistleblower lawsuits.
Contact Info: (202) 296-4826 // 1220 19th Street NW, Washington, DC 20036
These non-profits raise public awareness on issues relating to government waste and mismanagement and often work with Congress.
Americans for Tax Reform is an advocacy group that opposes all tax increases as a matter of principle. ATR believes in a system in which taxes are simpler, flatter, more visible, and lower than they are today. The organization hopes to minimize the power of the government to control people’s lives through its power to tax.
Contact Info: (202) 785-0266 // 722 12th ST NW, Suite 400, Washington DC 20005
The Better Government Association (BGA) is a non-partisan, not-for-profit citizens group covering Illinois. The BGA exists to expose waste, fraud corruption and inefficiency in government, to uphold high standards of public office and to educate the public.
Contact Info: (312) 427-8330 // 223 W. Jackson Blvd., Suite #900, Chicago, IL 60606
Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) is a 600,000 member, private, non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to educating Americans about the waste, mismanagement, and inefficiency in the federal government.
Contact Info: (202) 467-5300 // 1100 Connecticut Avenue NW, Suite 650, Washington, DC 20036
Citizens for Tax Justice is a 501(c)(4) public interest research and advocacy organization founded in 1979 that focuses on federal, state and local tax policies and their impact upon our nation. CTJ’s mission is to give ordinary people a greater voice in the development of tax laws. CTJ’s sister organization, the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP), is one of the leading research and education organizations in the country working on government taxation and spending policy issues.
Contact Info: (202) 299-1066 // 1616 P Street NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20036
The Coalition to Reduce Spending is a research organization advocating for reduced federal spending and balanced budgets. The Coalition believes that the government should never spend more than it takes in from taxes and works to tackle even the smallest instances of waste. To fight for future prosperity, the Coalition works to challenge the current culture of deficit spending in Washington.
Contact Info: (571) 257-5046 // P.O. Box 1031, Alexandria, VA 22313
The Federation of American Scientists Project on Government Secrecy is an organization that works to challenge excessive government secrecy and to promote public oversight through research, advocacy, and public education.
Contact Info: (202) 454-4691 // 1725 DeSales Street NW, 6th floor, Washington, DC 20036
Government Purchasing Project (GPP) is an organization dedicated to protecting the environment and human health through the effective use of purchasing power in addition to traditional advocacy. GPP works to encourage the government to use its immense purchasing power to promote safe, cost-effective, energy-efficient, and environmentally-sound products. The organization also provides support to federal employees who wish to investigate agency compliance with environmentally preferable purchasing laws.
Contact Info: (202) 387-8030 // P.O. Box 19367, Washington, DC 20036
National Taxpayers Union (NTU) is a 501(c)(4) organization founded in 1969 to fight for the American taxpayer. NTU is the largest grassroots taxpayer organization with more than 300,000 members across all fifty states. NTU lobbies Congress and state legislatures, educates politicians and the media on important taxpayer issues and teaches its members how to become effective, united citizen lobbyists.
Contact Info: (703) 683-5700 // 25 Massachusetts Ave, Suite 140, Washington, DC 20001
Public Citizen is the consumer’s eyes and ears in Washington, founded in 1971 by Ralph Nader. With the support of more than 150,000 people, Public Citizen fights for safer drugs and medical devices, cleaner and safer energy sources, a cleaner environment, fair trade, and a more open and democratic government. Public Citizen stands up for consumer against thousands of special interest lobbyists in Washington—well-heeled agents for drug companies, the automakers, big energy interests, and the like.
Contact Info: (202) 588-1000 // 1600 20th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009
The R Street Institute is a non-profit, non-partisan, public policy research organization whose mission is to engage in policy research and outreach to promote free markets and limited, effective government. R Street works extensively on both state and national policy, focusing on issues that other groups tend to neglect. To accomplish its goals, R Street is dedicated to building broad coalitions and working with a wide array of groups who share specific policy goals.
Contact Info: (202) 525-5717 // 1050 17th ST NW, STE 1150, Washington, DC 20036
Taxpayers For Common Sense (TCS) is a nonpartisan advocate for American taxpayers. TCS is dedicated to cutting wasteful spending and subsidies in order to achieve a responsible and efficient government that lives within its means.
Contact Info: (202) 546-8500 // 651 Pennsylvania Ave SE, Washington, DC 20003
Taxpayer’s Protection Alliance is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to educating the public through the research, analysis and dissemination of information on the government’s effects on the economy. TPA, through its network of taxpayers will hold politicians accountable for the effects of their policies on the size, scope, efficiency and activity of government and offer real solutions to runaway deficits and debt. Through blogs, commentaries, and special spending alerts, TPA will publish timely exposés of government waste, fraud, and abuse.
Contact Info: (202) 930-1716 // 1401 K St. NW, Suite 502, Washington, DC 20005
These organizations investigate and publish information used to hold the government accountable.
Center for Public Integrity is an organization whose mission is to provide the American public with the findings of its investigations and analyses of public service, government accountability, and ethics-related issues.
Contact Info: (202) 466-1300 // 910 17th Street NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC 20006
Center for Responsive Politics is a non-partisan, non-profit research group based in Washington, D.C. that tracks money in politics, and its effect on elections and public policy. The Center conducts computer-based research on campaign finance issues for the news media, academics, activists, and the public at large. The Center’s work is aimed at creating a more educated voter, an involved citizenry, and a more responsive government.
Contact Info: (202) 857-0044 // 1101 14th St. NW, Suite 1030, Washington, DC 20005
Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) is a public interest research center in Washington, D.C. It was established in 1994 to focus public attention on emerging civil liberties issues and to protect privacy, the First Amendment, and constitutional values.
Contact Info: (202) 483-1140 // 1718 Connecticut Ave NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20009
FOIAdvocates is a project of Bahr & Stotter Law Offices, P.C. designed to assist the public in gaining access to records from federal, state and local governments using the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) as well as state and local public records laws. Web site has links to state and federal statutes.
Contact Info: (541) 738-2601 // 408 SW Monroe, Ste., M210E, Corvallis, OR 97333
Knowledge Ecology International is a non-profit, non-governmental group with a focus on social justice, particularly the equitable distribution of knowledge. The work of KEI consists of monitoring the practices of governments and businesses, publishing research, increasing transparency and conducting advocacy work. The organization is known for advancing public interest in intellectual property policy.
Contact Info: (202) 332-2670 // 1621 Connecticut Ave. NW, Suite 500, Washington, DC 20009
MilitaryCorruption.com is a website dedicated to exposing cases of corrupt and unethical behavior.
Contact Info: This site provides an online form through which the writers can be reached.
National Security Archive is a hub of information, founded in 1985 by a group of journalists and scholars who had obtained documentation from the U.S. government under the Freedom of Information Act and sought a centralized repository for these materials. Over the years, the Archive has become the world’s largest non-governmental library of declassified documents. The Archive is simultaneously a research institute on international affairs, a library and archive of declassified U.S. documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, a public interest law firm defending and expanding public access to government information through the FOIA, and an indexer and publisher of the documents in books, microfiche, and electronic formats.
Contact Info: (202) 994-7000 // Gelman Library, 2130 H Street NW, Suite 701, Washington, DC 20037
Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) is a data gathering, data research and data distribution organization associated with Syracuse University. The purpose of TRAC is to provide comprehensive information about the activities of federal enforcement and regulatory agencies, and the communities in which they take place.
Contact Info: email@example.com
Watchdog.org is a project of The Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity, a non-profit that works to further government transparency. Its mission is to use non-partisan journalism as a way to restore oversight of our state governments, hold politicians and bureaucrats accountable for the use of taxpayers’ dollars, and promote innovative solutions to public policy issues.
Contact Info: (571) 384-2090107 // S. West St., Suite 718, Alexandria, VA 22314
These agencies work to uncover waste, fraud, and abuse within the government and are the first line of defense for federal whistleblowers.
The Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE) is an independent entity inside the executive branch created to address issues of integrity, economy, and efficiency within various government agencies and support a professional and skillful Inspectors General workforce. The Council develops policies, standards, and approaches to fulfill its mission.
The Department of Labor Appeals is a system that includes the Office of Administrative Law Judges (OALJ), which is a trial court that presides over many types of alleged unfair labor matters, including whistleblower complaints. OALJ cases may be appealed to the Administrative Review Board (ARB) for a final agency decision. The OALJ and ARB hear cases pertaining to many statutes. Cases may be further appealed to the federal court system.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is an organization charged with enforcing laws that make discrimination against a job applicant or current employee because of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information illegal. The work of the EEOC also pertains to whistleblowers who complained about discrimination. The EEOC investigates such instances and has the authority to file lawsuits.
Inspectors General are independent watchdogs within federal agencies. They conduct audits and investigations that identify wasteful government practices, fraud by individuals and government contractors, and other sorts of government misconduct, including whistleblower reprisal.
The Merit System Protection Board (MSPB) is a system that consists of a three-member board that oversees many administrative judges. These judges may hold hearings on a wide-range of issues, including whistleblower complaints, brought by employees of most executive branch agencies. Initial adjudicatory decisions can be appealed to the board, which issues a final decision. Cases may be continue to be appealed to the federal court system.
The Office of Special Counsel (OSC) is an independent federal investigative and prosecutorial agency. OSC’s primary mission is to safeguard the merit system by protecting federal employees and applicants from prohibited personnel practices, especially reprisal for whistleblowing.
The U.S. Federal Government Agencies Directory is a list of federal agencies on the Internet
CourtSystem.org, a directory of state, county, and city courts, detention facilities, law enforcement departments, and prosecutor offices
These sites provide valuable information for potential whistleblowers.
The Art of Anonymous Activism is a guide published by three national nonprofits (The Government Accountability Project, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, and the Project On Government Oversight) as a how-to manual for public employees considering blowing the whistle on waste, fraud, or abuse.
The Office of Special Counsel is a federal watchdog that has published a pamphlet describing the rights of federal employees.
Whistleblower Law: A Practitioner's Guide is a book written by Lisa Banks and Jason Schwartz that provides a comprehensive overview of laws pertaining to whistleblowers and the challenges that face practitioners. It includes thorough state-by-state breakdowns of relevant legislation.
The Whistleblower’s Survival Guide is a book created by Tom Devine, the legal director of the Government Accountability Project. The book details the process of deciding to blow the whistle, how to do so, what to expect, and what legal protections are available. (Scroll to the bottom of the web page to locate the PDFs).