Today's Christian Science Monitor has an excellent article on what companies need to do to encourage whistleblower reports. Employers large and small should be thinking about this especially because fraud reports are rising as the economy falters.
A leading global risk-management company, Kroll, Inc., has issued a new report finding that one of the unfortunate byproducts of our current global financial crisis will be an uptick in white collar crimes, particularly corporate fraud. As the Kroll report describes the situation, companies experiencing lean profits will have increased incentives to engage in fraudulent behaviour. More companies 'cooking the books' also means something else...more honest employee whistleblowers stepping forward to put a stop to this unethical behavior.
These often unsuspecting whistleblowers will no doubt experience harsh retaliation from employers, as the company executives scramble to save their hides. Whistleblowers will be harrassed in any number of ways; they will be demoted, fired, threatened, persecuted, and prosecuted. And unfortunately there aren't many good laws out there to protect them. Unless our leaders in Congress act to pass whistleblower protection laws immediately, many of these heroes will be left out in the cold.....
The dawning of a new administration is upon us, and with it comes an opportunity for whistleblower rights supporters to make their voices heard, and to achieve real changes to our ineffective whistleblower laws.
Over the past couple of years, Congress has inched towards reforming whistleblower laws for government and corporate employees, but the constant threat of veto from the Bush Administration tempered their political willpower. Now, with Obama (who has consistently supported whistleblower protection legislation) moving into the White House, as well as major concerns with transparency in doling out government bailout money AND the $50 billion Madoff scandal, we have a big chance to get the attention of Congress and new administration officials. But, nothing will happen unless we can show that the American people support protecting government and corporate whistleblowers who come forward to report illegal activity at work. We need you to get involved!!!
Here are 3 ways you can help fight for whistleblowers this inaugural season:
1. Sign the National Whistleblowers Center petition! The NWC is sponsoring a petition urging members of Congress to enact a national whistleblower protection law. Please join the thousands of whistleblower supporters have signed on!
2. Volunteer at Inaugural Events This Weekend! The NWC is looking for volunteers to collect signatures for our petition in support of strong whistleblower legislation (see #1 above). We are planning to petition at Inaugural events on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. For more information, call the NWC at 202-342-1903 or email Advocacy Director Lindsey Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org
3. Vote for Whistleblower Protection! The Obama Transition Team website is requesting that Americans vote on the issues that are most important to them. Whistleblower Protection has been steadily moving up the ranks - let's get it to the top of the list!