Debra Katz Comments on Protections for Facebook Whistleblower

Founding partner Debra Katz was quoted in the Wall Street Journal article, “The Facebook Whistleblower, Frances Haugen: Does the Law Protect Her?” regarding whistleblower protections against retaliation and other legal actions.

Ms. Haugen, a former Facebook product manager, disclosed internal documents to Congress, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the press revealing the company’s decisions not to address known problems with its platforms. According to Ms. Haugen, the effects of these choices by Facebook have been serious, ranging from psychological harm to undermining the democratic process.  But questions have arisen as to what legal protections Ms. Haugen has for disclosing Facebook’s confidential information, and whether Facebook may take action against her.

Certain disclosures are riskier, such as when they are made to the press or when the content and scope of the disclosure are much broader than necessary to demonstrate the unlawful conduct.  But as Ms. Katz noted,  “Whistleblower protection really gives employees and former employees significant legal protection for taking information to regulators, to law enforcement, to Congress . . . Companies are typically out of luck if that’s what the whistleblower does with the information.” 

Read the full article here.