Employee Whistleblowers: Employers Want First Crack At You
Employees who want to blow the whistle on their employers might first have to talk all that over with their employers, reports the New York Post. Yes, you read right.
That's exactly the procedure companies like Wal-Mart are asking, through their law firms, the Securities and Exchange Commission [SEC] to implement. Before employees sing like a bird to the SEC, large corporations want them to present their accusations internally to company representatives. Mmmmm. Doesn't that sound like being required to inform an alleged thief that you are turning him/her in as a thief before you actually turn him/her in? And doesn't that seem a dangerous and downright dumb thing to do?
This request from corporations comes in response to the SEC's call for input on how it can set up the new whistleblower program that Congress has mandated. That program is intended to not only increase protection for whistleblowers but also boost the rewards they can receive for turning over information about wrongdoing. Ironically, that program is supposed to permit whistleblowers to remain anonymous if they have a lawyer.
Yet, corporations are pleading to have first crack at whistleblowers. Something seems wrong with this picture. The National Whistleblowers Center, whose motto is "honesty without fear," agrees. It calls this push by corporations an "obstruction of justice."