Protect Your Business From a Whistleblower
What is a whistleblower?
A whistleblower is a person who exposes a private or public organization’s confidential information or activity that is considered illegal, unethical, or incorrect. Whistleblowers report organizations that break the law, engage in fraud or corruption, or pose a threat to public interest or national security—but also, violations of company rules and policies as stated in legal documents such as corporate bylaws or LLC regulations may constitute grounds for whistleblower allegations. Laws are in place to protect whistleblowers from facing legal, criminal, and social repercussions, regardless of whistleblowing classification as public or private. Laws are in place to protect whistleblowers from facing legal, criminal, and social repercussions, regardless of whistleblowing classification as public or private.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR BUSINESS FROM A WHISTLEBLOWER
Companies cannot use any clause, term, or provision that prohibits whistleblowers from reporting any illegal, unethical, or incorrect information, practices, or activities; confidentiality agreements do not trump a whistleblower’s rights. The best way to protect your company from a whistleblower is to be aware of and follow constitutional, criminal, and employment laws—among others that pertain to your business and legal jurisdiction. Certain industries have more potential risk for whistleblower claims than others; healthcare businesses, non-profits, and government contractors. A proactive method of protecting yourself against whistleblowing is to implement a complaint policy that outlines how matters will get handled. Make it easy for them—even incentivize transparency for them to come forward about their concerns with you instead of a third party.
Get Legal Advice
If you have a whistleblower case on your hands, do not fire or demote that person, don’t ignore, reprimand, deny, or exclude an employee; don’t treat him or her any differently from the rest of your employees. Remember, the best way to protect your company from a whistleblower is to know the law. If you are a member of our General Counsel Club, you can call (800) 734-9900 for unlimited legal, business, credit, and tax advice; legal knowledge is one of the best insurance policies you can get.