State University of New York Institute of Technology
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Whistleblowers Beware: The FDA is Watching

Monitoring is done to prevent company owned material from being publically released.  However, the security employees carrying out the surveillance of employees have no guidelines regarding duration of monitoring and limitations on information.  This lack of rules has led to the accusation of the FDA’s “excessively intrusive” spying on employees and retaliation for going public with safety concerns.  Although employees should have “no reasonable expectation of privacy”, this excess investigation poses a threat to whistleblowers.

Monitoring is supposed to go through the proper channels to get approval, including receiving the approval of a senior agency official and legal review from FDA lawyers.  However, there are procedures for going around that, such as if the FDA believes trade secrets are being revealed.

It was reported that in such a case of surveillance, an employee was fired while other scientists were punished.  This group of employees feels their privacy and first amendment right has been violated and is suing the FDA. 


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