A passage from Fred Alford's excellent book, Whistleblowers: Broken Lives and Organizational Power:
"Usually the whistleblower is not fired outright. The organization's goal is to disconnect the act of whistleblowing from the act of retaliation, which is why so much legislation to protect the whistleblower is practically irrelevant. The usual practice is to demoralize and humiliate the whistleblower, putting him or her under such psychological stress that it becomes difficult to do a good job. If the whistleblower is under enough stress, he or she is likely to make a bad decision, justifying disciplinary actions. A surprising number of whistleblowers have been given closets for offices. One was ordered to go into his closet at nine and not come out until five. A few whistleblowers have been transferred to positions for which they lacked the requisite skills, virtually guaranteeing that they would fail. A series of bad efficiency reports would follow, along with psychological evaluations. Only then was the whistleblower dismissed."