Whistleblowing? Consider This…

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Being a whistleblower is a tough decision, especially if your organization doesn’t want to listen and it is not interested in compliance (yes, it is still the case, sadly); you may be ostracized and being retaliated, therefore, it is a decision you need to take very carefully.

If you decide to go this path, you should be aware there are some indicators which may help you assessing the seriousness of your organization toward compliance

You’re an insider so, eventually, nobody knows it better than you

However, by my experience (just to mention some):

  • Having  dedicated channels, managed by professionals, “How a whistleblower hotline can protect your organization”
  • Allowing anonymous whistleblowing. Now that also in Europe (see the Sapin II in France) anonymous whistleblowing is tolerated, companies are increasingly aware of the doubts, risks and uncertainty  a whistleblower usually faces. Consequently, if you decide to stay anonymous, make sure you receive a reference number to be used as follow up. To make your allegations immediately credible (the company cannot get back to you for further information as you’re anonymous) try to be as detailed as possible.
  • An internal investigation is set reasonably after the allegations. The relevant line manager and the  HR, legal and accounting departments should be involved as well. Do not worry if you don’t “see” such investigation; at the very beginning it will be mainly focused on document verification. If you disclosed your identity, you are likely to be heard.

An organization can be compliant only if the top management wants to

What are the ‘red flags’?

An organization can be compliant only if the top management wants to. Unfortunately whistleblowers, in some cases, are still perceived as the problem.

  • No interaction with the WB hotline; if the organization is gathering confidential information by means of an answering machine, there is probably something wrong.
  • You are being retaliated. You got  excluded from projects you were carrying on, you are required to perform different tasks than usual (more junior or less qualified),
  • In other cases retaliation is more subtle; your employment contract doesn’t get renewed or even terminated.

What to do then?

Once you decide to be a whistleblower, there is no turning back point. If you are suffering from retaliation you should consider bringing the matter to the relevant authorities since, in many countries, employment laws protect employees (but also external consultants or advisors) who report alleged misconducts.

Regardless what YOU decide, please evaluate YOUR situation according to YOUR needs, also consulting your attorney.


Published by

Michele La Neve

White Collar Crime Attorney at Whitecotton Law Dedicated to Helping Clients Overcome Unforeseen Business Risks.

2 thoughts on “Whistleblowing? Consider This…

  1. Hello. Well every thing you stated I did an your right. After I came back from medical leave I was placed doing beginners work an was treated differently. I made my numbers every month an asked to be advised to a higher skill since I had worked higher skills an trained other co workers how to do the job. Every time I asked to learn more an do more and my performance showed I can do the job. I got the same response back from everyone that I needed to work on my productivity??? But I made my numbers every single month? People younger then me an less time with the company got advanced to new projects new skill. I even asked what number I needed to have so I can learn new skills since I was already making my numbers. I never got an answer to what the numbers should be to advance. Please help me. I have been treated so horrible by this company an they allowed it to happen even with witnesses who backed up things I had told the hr department. I hope u can help me.

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