The Christian Science Monitor offers an editorial that comes close to calling it the year of the whistleblower.
Congress has yet to determine the guilt or innocence of President Donald Trump over his alleged wrong behavior with Ukraine. Yet one thing is sure: The world has witnessed the powerful impact of a whistleblower calling out his or her boss.
They also offer a nice roundup of what is happening worldwide.
In October, the European Parliament approved a directive to protect from retaliation employees who report crime, corruption, and public health dangers from retaliation. Countries in the European Union have two years to implement the law. The mood in Europe shifted after a French accountant, Antoine Deltour, exposed widespread tax evasion by multinational businesses operating through shell companies in Luxembourg. Despite attempts to punish him for his actions, he endured. “The worst thing for a whistleblower,” Mr. Deltour said, “is not to be heard. The world then makes no sense.”
In February, Australia passed a new standard for whistleblower protection. Also this year, Lebanon and Tunisia became the first Middle East countries to pass such laws. And in June, the Group of 20, made up of leading rich and developing nations, further cemented a global norm by endorsing a set of principles for “effective” protection of whistleblowers.
FT: Whistleblowers fare poorly at accounting firms
The Financial Times spoke to 20 former employees of major accounting firms for a November 20 story on how the companies treat whistleblowers. Former staff from EY, Deloitte, KPMG and PwC said they were subject to “harassment, bullying and discrimination.” (Note: FT has a paywall.)
The FT identified a disturbingly common pattern in terms of how complainants were treated: most initially felt ignored, then isolated and were eventually pushed out. Legal clauses aimed at silencing them swiftly followed; nine of those interviewed said they were pressured into signing restrictive non-disclosure agreements.
The whistleblowers in the article worked around the world, including San Diego to Tokyo to London. But, they all had similar experiences.
Almost all complained about an individual of a higher rank within the firm. In most of these cases, the whistleblower left within months of raising their concerns, while the alleged perpetrator remained. The reason this pattern is so stark is simple, according to several current and former insiders: the Big Four want to protect their top fee-earners, even if this is to the detriment of the rest of the workforce.