Whistleblowers: Who Are They and Why Should You Care?
July 31, 2019
While legal protections for whistleblowers in the United States were first adopted in the late 1970s for federal employees, statutory protections enacted in the last 20 years have substantially increased protection beyond the federal workforce to certain private-sector employees.
These protections create a number of potential issues for companies today, ranging from employee retaliation lawsuits to regulatory investigations.
This note provides a high-level description of the primary whistleblower legal protections in the United States today. Companies are well-advised to keep these protections in mind as they implement and enhance their compliance programs. The right policies and procedures—tailored to a company’s particular risk profile—can reduce the risk of whistleblower complaints and ensure that concerns are appropriately investigated internally and remediated as necessary to reduce costly and intrusive regulatory scrutiny.
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