Dear Friend: 

An article published on November 13th by National Underwriter, a leading news service for the insurance industry, drove home the significance of the whistleblower provisions included in the Consumer Product Safety (CPS) Improvement Act signed into law on August 14, 2008. That law was vigorously opposed by the National Association of Manufacturers, and contains some of the best whistleblower protections under federal law.

In the article, the head of the Chicago law firm Greenberg Traurig’s product liability practice group, Frank Citera, admitted that the whistleblower provisions of the CPS Act, which cover over 15,000 products, consumer imports and materials regulated under the Federal Hazardous Substances Act, has been of great concern to companies. He stated that since the Act provides real protections for workers, there is the potential for “ a ‘bit of a boon for the plaintiffs’ bar.’” Attorney Citera asserted that in a “perfect world” a “worker on the assembly line who sees a defect would prevent the product from hitting the marker sooner, ‘but historically employees reluctant to blow the whistle.’” A copy of this article is linked here.

The opposition of the defense bar evidenced the dangerous attempts by companies to take advantage of the average worker who is currently unaware of the Act’s protections. It highlighted the importance of the NWC’s new training program designed to instruct employment/plaintiff attorneys, whistleblowers and their supporters of these new whistleblower rights and how they can be effectively advocated within the legal system.

Congress passed the CPS Act in response to defective products that killed children and police officers. Congress recognized that whistleblowers are the only way the public will discover when a neglectful company endangers Americans by ignoring consumer product safety regulations. We cannot allow employee ignorance, coupled with aggressive defense lawyer tactics, to undermine consumer safety.

There is still time to register for the NWC’s crucial seminar. We urge you to attend and to inform any attorneys or whistleblower advocates you know to come to the seminar. It is critically important that the whistleblower community understand the new law and be in a position to defend the millions of workers who are now protected under its provisions. If you cannot attend, please make a donation to the National Whistleblowers Center to fund a national training program so that companies do not succeed in their efforts to keep workers ignorant and unprotected. Please click here to make a donation.

The all-day seminar will be held in the Taft Room at the Willard International Hotel, 1401 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W. Washington, D.C. on Friday, November 21, 2008. To review the program or sign up click here. A registration fee of $495.00 is required. However scholarships are available. Attorneys, whistleblowers, students, community activists, members of the press, and others who support the rights of workers who wish to attend should contact 
Estelle S. Kohn
 at (202) 342-1903 or email ek@whistleblowers.org

Very truly yours,

Lindsey M. Williams
Advocacy Director
National Whistleblowers Center

Estelle S. Kohn
Deputy Director
National Whistleblower Legal Defense and Education Fund

 

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