Case 1 - Anonymous - Germany

The Whistleblower:

Anonymous employee in a wastewater treatment plant in the area around in Bavaria.

The disclosure:

In July 2014, the employee of a small public wastewater treatment plant near Munich, files a petition to the Bavarian parliament. He reports a number of incidents of misuse of public funds by the director of his organization, and asks for support, as he had been threatened to lose his job.

According to the whistleblower, the director of the organization had not only appointed employees of the organization to help renovate his privately-owned apartment during their working hours. He had also used a company-owned car for private purposes, appointed his wife as staff manager and taken her along on business trips at the company’s expenses.

The whistleblower also recounts that he had tried to bring the issue to the attention of the head of the administrative council of his organization as well as the local mayor, which remained without success. Several efforts to resolve the issue internally led to the whistleblower being asked to take his remaining days of vacation.

Upon his return, he is being sacked.

"I was mobbed, harassed and intimidated by my boss and some of my former colleagues. The Works Council even endorsed my dismissal, they weren’t any help, and even the authorities didn’t support me.”

The impact:

While the whistleblower loses his job, his disclosure makes waves among local authorities. His complaint to the Bavarian government reaches the desks of different politicians. As a final consequence, political pressure on the administrative council results in the release of the company’s director. His wife, too, loses her position as staff manager.

In 2015, preliminary proceedings against the sacked director are launched. Currently, investigations are ongoing.

Fate of the whistleblower:

Following his release, the whistleblower raises charges against his dismissal, with the ultimate goal of being reinstated. His case is closed after he agrees on a settlement of €2 000. He later claims that he was poorly consulted by his attorney.

While the new director of his former company agrees to include a statement in the whistleblower’s job reference noting that he left the company on his own terms, he struggles to find another employment due to psychological issues. Up until today, he remains without occupation.

What else:

In 2016, media reports on the case that had been released in Süddeutsche Zeitung were taken down. The newspaper didn’t give any statement on the matter. The only remaining report on the case can be found on an independent blog[1]