By: Stacy Hsu
Taipei, May 2 (CNA) The Executive Yuan on Thursday passed a draft whistleblower protection act that it says is designed to ensure the safety and rights of public and private-sector employees who report major irregularities to their superiors or government authorities, but some rights activists are concerned the act might discourage Taiwanese people from exercising a fundamental right they currently enjoy — the right to report problems to the media.
Under the 19-article draft act, individuals hired, entrusted or contracted by a government agency or private entity to carry out work in exchange for payment are to be protected if they blow the whistle on major internal malpractices, such as malfeasance, corruption, money laundering, human trafficking or other offenses, including covering up criminally punishable acts.
To protect the rights of whistleblowers, people who participate in or serve as a witness in a probe, or those who refuse to be involved in or to carry out the unlawful act in question, the act says they cannot be fired, demoted, or suspended by implicated government or private bodies, which also cannot reduce their pay.
The act also forbids the public or private entities from resorting to workplace bullying, disclosing the whistleblower or witnesses’ identities without due cause, or engaging in other vengeful acts that could undermine their interests. [FULL STORY]