State Whistleblower Protections

Public employees have whistleblower protection through Massachusetts law. Public employees who engage in the following activities are protected against retaliation:
 

  • Disclosing, threatening to disclose, providing information, or objecting to any activity, practice, or policy that the employee reasonably believes is in violation of law, rule, or regulation, or poses a risk to public health, safety, or the environment.

Whistleblowers are protected from:
 

  • Firing;
  • Suspension;
  • Demotion; and
  • Any adverse employment action being taken as a reprisal

In addition, public employees have protection for reporting waste, fraud, and abuse to the Massachusetts Inspector General, as follows:

"Any employee who has authority to take, direct others to take, recommend, or approve any personnel action, shall not, with respect to such authority, take or threaten to take any action against any employees as a reprisal for making a complaint or disclosing information to the inspector general, unless the complaint was made or the information disclosed with the knowledge that it was false or with willful disregard for its truth or falsity." M.G.L. c. 12A, § 14(c).

Federal Whistleblower Protections
The , in Section 1553, provides additional whistleblower protection for recipients of Recovery Act ("stimulus") funds who report fraud, waste, and abuse to federal or state authorities. The law protects employees of state and local governments receiving Recovery funds, as well as subcontractors and grantees.

Whistleblowers are protected from:
 

  • Termination;
  • Demotion; and
  • Discrimination as a reprisal for making a disclosure

Click here to read more about the types of disclosures protected, to whom the disclosures must be made, and how to make a report.

Reporting Fraud, Waste, and Abuse

Suspected fraud, waste, and abuse may be reported to any of the following Massachusetts agencies:

Office of the Inspector General , 800-322-1323: a confidential hotline to report suspected fraud, waste or abuse in government.

Office of the Attorney General, 617-727-2200: to report various concerns of waste, fraud, and abuse.

Office of the State Auditor, 617-727-6200, ext.156: for state agencies to report variances, shortages or thefts of funds or property.

Division of Unemployment Assistance, 800-354-9927: to report unreported wages or persons collecting benefits while working. Or email uifraud@detma.org.

Massachusetts Recovery and Reinvestment Office: to report suspected fraud, waste, abuse, or mismanagement of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 funds.

The Executive Office of Public Safety and Security receives federal funding from the U.S. Departments of Homeland Security Justice, Transportation, Justice, or Education. You may also report or address concerns of waste, fraud, or abuse to the federal departments listed below.

U.S. Department of Education Inspector General:
http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/oig/hotline.html?src=rt

U.S. Department of Homeland Security Inspector General:
http://www.oig.dhs.gov/

U.S. Department of Justice Inspector General:
http://www.justice.gov/oig/hotline/

U.S. Department of Transportation Inspector General:
http://www.oig.dot.gov/Hotline

U.S. Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board to prevent and detect fraud, waste, and mismanagement in the use of Recovery funds.
Fraud Recovery Hotline: (877) 392-3375
http://www.recovery.gov/arra/Contact/ReportFraud/Pages/Report_Fraud.aspx