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Whistleblower Protections, Employment Rights, and Criminal Law: The Importance of Knowing the Law in the United States and Italy

Bologna on 2023-09-07T21:00:00.000+02:00
by Angelo Reale
tags: law

In an age of transparency and accountability, the rights of whistleblowers and the regulations surrounding employment and criminal law are increasingly crucial. Both the United States and Italy have robust legal frameworks that protect those who speak out against wrongdoing, as well as those who face workplace discrimination, harassment, or conspiracy. But why are these laws so significant, and what could be the consequences of ignoring them?

Whistleblower Protections:

Whistleblowers play a pivotal role in society. They are the individuals who, often at great personal risk, expose illegal, unethical, or harmful activities within organizations or governments. By doing so, they help maintain the integrity of industries and protect the well-being of the public.

United States:

- The Whistleblower Protection Act (WPA): Protects federal employees from retaliation when they expose government misdeeds. Such a law is fundamental for a democracy, where government transparency and accountability are paramount.

- The Sarbanes-Oxley Act: Targets employees of publicly-traded companies. This law ensures that shareholders, who have a stake in the company's performance, are kept in the loop regarding any fraudulent activities or violations that might affect them.

- The False Claims Act: Specifically shields employees from retaliation when they report fraud against the federal government. This ensures that companies can't misuse taxpayer money without repercussions.


- Law No. 179/2017: A significant step for Italian employment law, this legislation extends whistleblower protections to the private sector while strengthening those in the public sector. It ensures that employees and collaborators are shielded when they highlight illegalities.

Harassment and Retaliation:

Employment discrimination, based on factors like race, color, religion, sex, and national origin, can have grave implications for the affected individuals and society at large. Such behaviors not only diminish the self-worth and potential of the victims but also limit the overall productivity and innovation in the workplace.

United States:

- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964: This cornerstone legislation aims to create an equal and just work environment. Harassment and retaliation, when linked to the mentioned discriminatory factors, fall under this law. Companies or individuals ignoring this law can face severe legal repercussions.


Criminal conspiracies, where individuals or groups plan to commit an illegal act, pose a significant threat to society's peace and order.

United States:

- Federal conspiracy laws: Found in 18 U.S.C. § 371, these laws deal with individuals conspiring to commit a federal offense or defraud the United States. Violators can face substantial fines or imprisonment.

Incitement to Suicide:

Society has a duty to protect its most vulnerable members, and this includes taking stringent actions against those who might push someone towards taking their own life.


- Article 580 of the Italian Criminal Code: A person found guilty of inducing, supporting, or assisting someone in committing suicide can face significant jail time, especially if the act is completed or an attempt takes place.

In conclusion, these laws underscore the importance of promoting transparency, ensuring workplace justice, and maintaining societal order and well-being. Ignorance or dismissal of such regulations can result in severe legal consequences, both for individuals and organizations. Beyond the legal aspect, a just and transparent society flourishes when these principles are upheld, leading to innovation, progress, and collective well-being. It's not just about obeying the law; it's about crafting a better future for all.