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The Office of Inspector General’s law protects whistleblowers’ identities
Under the law, the Office of Inspector General can protect whistleblowers’ identities. A person may choose to remain anonymous while providing as much information as possible to support the reasonable belief that illegal activity is happening. (M.G.L. c. 12A, § 14(b)).
The Office of Inspector General’s law protects whistleblowers from retaliation when they report fraud, waste or abuse
The Office of Inspector General’s law also protects whistleblowers from retaliation. The law states that public employees with authority over personnel actions may not take or threaten to take any action against any employees as retaliation for making a complaint or disclosing information to the Office of Inspector General unless the employee made the complaint or disclosed the information knowing that it was false or intentionally ignoring whether it was true or false. (M.G.L. c. 12A, § 14(c)).
Threats or retaliation against witnesses or potential witnesses are crimes
In Massachusetts, witness intimidation is a crime. It is unlawful for anyone to directly or indirectly threaten a witness or potential witness in a civil or criminal investigation that the Office of Inspector General is conducting. Similarly, it is a crime for anyone to attempt to injure, intimidate or harass a witness or potential witness in an Office Inspector General investigation. (M.G.L. c. 268, § 13B).
When an individual reports suspicions regarding illegal activity by an individual or organization to the Office of the Inspector General’s Public Fraud, Waste and Abuse hotline or to the Office of the Inspector General’s MassDOT Fraud, Waste and Abuse hotline, they are protected.