RIGA, Oct. 11 (Xinhua) -- Latvian law makers on Thursday passed the whistle blowing bill intended to provide legal protection to people exposing various kinds of violations in their workplaces or other organizations, local media reported.
The new legislation was passed by 70 votes out of 100 and one abstention.
Although it is already possible in Latvia to report illegal activity anonymously to the competent authorities, the new law will ensure that the people reporting are protected against possible retaliation by their employers.
To encourage people to report on illegal or unethical activities, the new whistle blowing law will provide for various guarantees to the whistle blowers, first of which is anonymity. In the event their anonymity is breached, employers will be banned from firing such employees, and if a whistle blower's dispute with the employee ends up in court the whistle blower will be entitled to government-paid legal assistance.
Under the new law, whistle blowers will be able to report on abuse of office, corruption, fraud, embezzlement, tax evasion, threats to public health, the environment, work safety and public order, human rights violations, breaches of procurement rules, competition violations and other illegal activities.