Whistleblowers Faced with Growing Retaliation

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Reports suggest that corporate whistleblowers are faced with increased retaliation, Corporate Counsel reports. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has began an aggressive lobbying campaign against the False Claims Act, the law that allows whistleblowers to file lawsuits on behalf of the government when they have knowledge of wrongdoing.

According to The Ethics Resource Center, 45 percent of US workers have witnessed misconduct in their workplace; 65 percent of those employees reported the wrongdoing and 22 percent say they faced retaliatory actions. An ERC survey in 2007 indicated that only 10 to 11 percent of whistleblowers experienced retaliation. The law is supposed to protect whistleblowers against such actions.

“Not only is retaliation on the rise nationally, it is rapidly becoming an issue even at companies with demonstrated commitment to ethics,” according to ERC. Senior managers are the most vulnerable to retaliation, and it appears that it has increased against them significantly. A study from the Univesity of Chicago Booth School of Business showed that a number of whistleblowers report being fired, quitting under duress or facing different job responsibilities after reporting the wrongdoing.