Rules should protect whistleblowers
Premium content from Charlotte Business Journal - by Adam O’Daniel
Date: Friday, December 3, 2010, 6:00am EST
Stephen Kohn, president of the National Whistleblowers Center, says fear of losing a job is the top reason employees don’t speak up about their concerns if they see trouble.
However, he says laws designed to protect whistleblowers are supposed to prevent employers from pushing employees out the door even if their claims are deemed meritless.
Ironically, Kohn says many banks today are pushing employees to report concerns internally out of fear that they’ll instead go to federal or state regulators. The reason? The Dodd-Frank financial reform bill offers cash incentives to external whistleblowers. And banks feel that measure could unfairly prompt employees to tattle on their employers.
Kohn says his organization is pushing lawmakers to offer more protection to internal whistleblowers, so they feel confident in reporting improprieties.
“Employees should be protected in raising issues, even if they aren’t valid,” he says.