Have a Claim?

Click here for a confidential contact or call:


Constantine Cannon Partner Gordon Schnell Quoted in BBC Article on Tesla Whistleblower and the Rise of High-Tech Whistleblowers

Posted  April 18, 2024

On April 15, BBC reported on the efforts of Tesla whistleblower Cristina Balan to clear her name after her decade-long battle with Tesla.   It all started when she raised safety concerns at the company and was ultimately fired for sounding the alarm.  While she won a wrongful dismissal case, Tesla continued to go after her, claiming she embezzled money from the company.  She has been fighting those charges ever since.

According to the BBC, Ms. Balan was a rising star at Tesla, living her professional dream and following her lifelong passion for cars.  But then everything went south when she raised her concerns about a potentially lethal design flaw that could interfere with braking.  As is so often the case, management apparently rebuffed her concerns and treated her whistleblowing efforts with hostility, ultimately terminating her employment.

What Ms. Balan is seeking now is professional vindication.  Unfortunately, it is a problem so many whistleblowers face.  Standing up and speaking out against wrongdoing only to be punished in the process.  And we are seeing it more and more in the high-tech world where whistleblowing has become more prolific of late.

The BBC quoted Constantine Cannon partner Gordon Schnell on the rising number of technology-sector workers who are becoming whistleblowers.  As Mr. Schnell explains, the stakes are particularly high in this space because it has “such a wide impact on the world” and “really touches all of our lives.”

Mr. Schnell cautions would-be whistleblowers, whether in high tech or otherwise, to explore the vast array of protected whistleblower channels before going public with any claims:

There are so many protected channels in so many different industries that a whistleblower can take, where they can get confidential concerns to the proper government agencies that are best suited to address those concerns.

Whether the government actually gets involved and takes appropriate action is always an open question.  It may come down to the particular agency involved, and even then, to the particular enforcement staff investigating the matter.  But for the safety and well-being of the whistleblower, going public should be a last resort and pursued with eyes wide open to the serious ramifications that may follow, and have followed so many courageous souls who felt they had nowhere else to bring their concerns.

If you would like to learn more about what it means to be a whistleblower and what protected channels of disclosure are available to you, please do not hesitate to contact us for a free and confidential consult with an experienced member of our whistleblower team.