Whistleblowing in the private sector is typically not as high-profile or openly discussed in major news outlets, though occasionally, third parties expose human rights violations and exploitation of workers. When Congress enacted the Sarbanes-Oxley Act , following the scandalous behavior of corporate America, it included two provisions that also apply to nonprofits.
The classifications relate to the type of organizations someone chooses to whistle-blow on: Depending on many factors, both can have varying results.
However, whistleblowing in the public sector organization is more likely to result in criminal charges and possible custodial sentences. A whistleblower who chooses to accuse a private sector organization or agency is more likely to face termination and legal and civil charges. Deeper questions and theories of whistleblowing and why people choose to do so can be studied through an ethical approach. Whistleblowing is a topic of ongoing ethical debate. Leading arguments in the ideological camp that whistleblowing is ethical maintain that whistleblowing is a form of civil disobedience, and aims to protect the public from government wrongdoing.
Hundreds of laws grant protection to whistleblowers, but stipulations can easily cloud that protection and leave whistleblowers vulnerable to retaliation and legal trouble. However, the decision and action has become far more complicated with recent advancements in technology and communication. Questions about the legitimacy of whistleblowing, the moral responsibility of whistleblowing, and the appraisal of the institutions of whistleblowing are part of the field of political ethics.
The word is linked to the use of a whistle to alert the public or a crowd about a bad situation, such as the commission of a crime or the breaking of rules during a game.
The phrase whistle blower attached itself to law enforcement officials in the 19th century because they used a whistle to alert the public or fellow police. An story in the Janesville Gazette called a policeman who used his whistle to alert citizens about a riot a whistle blower , without the hyphen. By the year , the phrase had become a hyphenated word, whistle-blower.
The word began to be used by journalists in the s for people who revealed wrongdoing, such as Nader. It eventually evolved into the compound word whistleblower. Most whistleblowers are internal whistleblowers, who report misconduct on a fellow employee or superior within their company through anonymous reporting mechanisms often called hotlines.
Anonymous reporting mechanisms,  as mentioned previously, help foster a climate whereby employees are more likely to report or seek guidance regarding potential or actual wrongdoing without fear of retaliation. The coming ISO  — anti-bribery management systems standard, includes anonymous reporting as one of the criteria for the new standard.
External whistleblowers, however, report misconduct to outside persons or entities. In these cases, depending on the information's severity and nature, whistleblowers may report the misconduct to lawyers , the media , law enforcement or watchdog agencies , or other local, state, or federal agencies.
In some cases, external whistleblowing is encouraged by offering monetary reward. The third party service involves utilizing an external agency to inform the individuals at the top of the organizational pyramid of misconduct, without disclosing the identity of the whistleblower. This is a relatively new phenomenon and has been developed due to whistleblower discrimination. International Whistleblowers is an example of an organization involved in delivering a third party service for whistleblowers.
An increasing number of companies and authorities use third party services in which the whistleblower is anonymous also towards the third party service provider. This is possible via toll free phone numbers configured not to record the whistleblower origin call, and also through web solutions which apply asymmetrical encryption.
Private sector whistleblowing, though not as high profile as public sector whistleblowing, is arguably more prevalent and suppressed in society today. An example of private sector whistleblowing is when an employee reports to someone in a higher position such as a manager, or a third party that is isolated from the individual chapter, such as their lawyer or the police.
In the private sector corporate groups can easily hide wrongdoings by individual branches. It is not until these wrongdoings bleed into the top officials that corporate wrongdoings are seen by the public.
Situations in which a person may blow the whistle are in cases of violated laws or company policy, such as sexual harassment or theft. These instances, nonetheless, are small compared to money laundering or fraud charges on the stock market.
Whistleblowing in the private sector is typically not as high-profile or openly discussed in major news outlets, though occasionally, third parties expose human rights violations and exploitation of workers.
In an effort to overcome those fears, in Dodd—Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act was put forth to provide great incentive to whistleblowers.
For example, if a whistleblower gave information which could be used to legally recover over one million dollars; then they could receive ten to thirty percent of it. Despite government efforts to help regulate the private sector, the employees must still weigh their options. They either expose the company and stand the moral and ethical high ground; or expose the company, lose their job, their reputation and potentially the ability to be employed again.
According to a study at the University of Pennsylvania, out of three hundred whistleblowers studied, sixty nine percent of them had foregone that exact situation; and they were either fired or were forced to retire after taking the ethical high ground. It is outcomes like that which makes it all that much harder to accurately track how prevalent whistleblowing is in the private sector. Recognizing the public value of whistleblowing has been increasing over the last 50 years.
In the United States, both state and Federal statutes have been put in place to protect whistleblowers from retaliation. The United States Supreme Court ruled that public sector whistleblowers are protected under First Amendment rights from any job retaliation when they raise flags over alleged corruption. Private sector whistleblowing protection laws were in place long before ones for the public sector. After many federal whistleblowers were scrutinized in high-profile media cases, laws were finally introduced to protect government whistleblowers.
These laws were enacted to help prevent corruption and encourage people to expose misconduct, illegal, or dishonest activity for the good of society. They most likely are fired because they are an at-will employee , which means they can be fired without a reason. There are exceptions in place for whistleblowers who are at-will employees.
Even without a statute, numerous decisions encourage and protect whistleblowing on grounds of public policy. Statutes state that an employer shall not take any adverse employment actions any employee in retaliation for a good-faith report of a whistleblowing action or cooperating in any way in an investigation, proceeding, or lawsuit arising under said action.
In the federal civil service, the government is prohibited from taking, or threatening to take, any personnel action against an employee because the employee disclosed information that he or she reasonably believed showed a violation of law, gross mismanagement, and gross waste of funds, abuse of authority, or a substantial and specific danger to public safety or health.
To prevail on a claim, a federal employee must show that a protected disclosure was made, that the accused official knew of the disclosure, that retaliation resulted, and that there was a genuine connection between the retaliation and the employee's action. Individual harm, public trust damage, and a threat of national security are three categories of harm that may come to whistleblowers.
Revealing whistleblower identities automatically puts their life in harm's way. Especially with media outlets using words like "traitor" and "treason" to associate with whistleblowers. There are many countries around the world that associate treason with the death penalty, even though whoever allegedly committed treason may or may not have caused anyone physical harm.
A primary reason for the death penalty would be that they have potentially endangered an entire people, therefore being responsible for any harm to come as a result. Public trust dates back to the days of the Vietnam War. Henry Kissinger once said that the purpose of "those who stole" the Pentagon Papers was to "undermine confidence in their government" and "raise doubts about our reliability in the minds of other governments, friend and foe, and indeed about the stability of our political system.
Emotional strain on the accused from the whistle blower is also unconstrained. When a leader challenges a whistle blower, there is an automatic indictment of the leader's character. Whistleblowers are sometimes seen as selfless martyrs for public interest and organizational accountability ; others view them as "traitors" or "defectors. Some academics such as Thomas Alured Faunce feel that whistleblowers should at least be entitled to a rebuttable presumption that they are attempting to apply ethical principles in the face of obstacles and that whistleblowing would be more respected in governance systems if it had a firmer academic basis in virtue ethics.
It is probable that many people do not even consider blowing the whistle, not only because of fear of retaliation, but also because of fear of losing their relationships at work and outside work. Employees in academia, business or government might become aware of serious risks to health and the environment, but internal policies might pose threats of retaliation to those who report these early warnings.
Private company employees in particular might be at risk of being fired, demoted, denied raises and so on for bringing environmental risks to the attention of appropriate authorities. Government employees could be at a similar risk for bringing threats to health or the environment to public attention, although perhaps this is less likely. There are examples of "early warning scientists" being harassed for bringing inconvenient truths about impending harm to the notice of the public and authorities.
There have also been cases of young scientists being discouraged from entering controversial scientific fields for fear of harassment. However, many whistleblowers report there exists a widespread " shoot the messenger " mentality by corporations or government agencies accused of misconduct and in some cases whistleblowers have been subjected to criminal prosecution in reprisal for reporting wrongdoing.
As a reaction to this many private organizations have formed whistleblower legal defense funds or support groups to assist whistleblowers; three such examples are the National Whistleblowers Center  in the United States , and Whistleblowers UK  and Public Concern at Work PCaW  in the United Kingdom. Depending on the circumstances, it is not uncommon for whistleblowers to be ostracized by their co-workers, discriminated against by future potential employers, or even fired from their organization.
This campaign directed at whistleblowers with the goal of eliminating them from the organization is referred to as mobbing. It is an extreme form of workplace bullying wherein the group is set against the targeted individual. There is limited research on the psychological impacts of whistle blowing. However, poor experiences of whistleblowing can cause a prolonged and prominent assault upon staff well being.
As workers attempt to address concerns, they are often met with a wall of silence and hostility by management. As such, workers remain afraid to blow the whistle, in fear that they will not be believed or they have lost faith in believing that anything will happen if they do speak out.
Whistleblowers may also be disciplined, suspended and reported to professional bodies upon manufactured pretexts. Within ten working days of a concern being raised, the person investigating your concern will write to you:.
The amount of contact between you and the officers considering the issues will depend on the nature of the matters raised, the potential difficulties involved and the clarity of your information. It is likely that you will be interviewed to ensure that your disclosure is fully understood.
Any meeting can be arranged away from your workplace, if you wish, and a union or professional association representative or a friend may accompany you in support.
The Council will do what it can to minimise any difficulties that you may experience as a result of raising a concern. For instance, if you are asked to give evidence in criminal or disciplinary proceedings, the Council will arrange for you to receive appropriate advice and support. You need to be assured that your disclosure has been properly addressed.
Unless there are any legal reasons why this cannot be done, you will be kept informed of the progress and outcome of any investigation.
The Monitoring Officer has overall responsibility for the maintenance and operation of this Policy. This Policy is intended to provide you with an avenue within the Council to raise concerns.
The Council hopes you will be satisfied with any action taken. If you are not, and you feel it is right to take the matter outside the Council, the following are the Council's prescribed contact s:. If you raise concerns outside the Council you should ensure that it is to one of these prescribed contacts.
A public disclosure to anyone else could take you outside the protection of the Public Interest Disclosure Act and of this Policy. You should not disclose information that is confidential to the Council or to anyone else, such as a client or contractor of the Council, except to those included in the list of prescribed contacts.
The Monitoring Officer will maintain a corporate register containing all concerns that are brought to her attention. All officers allocated to look into a concern must ensure the Monitoring Officer is provided with sufficient details for the corporate register.
The Monitoring Officer will review the corporate register and produce an annual report for Policy Committee. The report will include a summary of the concerns raised, to which department they related, the post to which the concerns related if not confidential and any lessons learned. The report will not include any employee names.
The aim of this is to ensure that:. The corporate register together with the annual reports will be available for inspection by internal and external audit, after removing any confidential details. Find and talk with us online or contact us directly by online form, email, telephone, post or in person at one of our offices.
Home Jobs and working Working for us Whistleblowing policy confidential reporting. Whistleblowing policy confidential reporting 1. If you are considering raising a concern you should read this Policy first. What is the aim of the Policy and when does it apply? Aims of the Policy The Policy is designed to ensure that you can raise your concerns about wrongdoing or malpractice within the Council without fear of victimisation, subsequent discrimination, disadvantage or dismissal.
This Policy aims to: Scope of this Policy This Policy is intended to enable those who become aware of wrongdoing in the County Council affecting some other person or service, to report their concerns at the earliest opportunity so that they can be properly investigated.
The Whistle Blowing Policy is not intended to replace existing procedures: Who can raise a concern under this Policy? The Policy applies to all: What should be reported?
Any serious concerns that you have about service provision or the conduct of officers or members of the Council or others acting on behalf of the Council that: The AC with the concurrence of the Board of Directors opined that it would be in the best interests of the Group to disclose the identity.
Registration of Complaints The AC shall maintain or cause to be maintained a Complaints Register for the purposes of recording all Complaints received, the date of such Complaint and nature of such complaint.
The AC shall approve making the Complaints Register available for inspection upon any request by investigating authorities. Dissemination of Documents The Human Resource shall make available to all employees a copy of this Document including the latest update of the contact details of the AC.
Review and investigate the Complaint; Inform complainant of the likely timeline for a final response; Recommend any remedial or legal action to be taken, where necessary; and Notify complainant of actions taken or reason s should it be decided that no action is to be taken. Determination by Audit Committee. Upon receipt of any Complaint, the AC may: Revisions, amendments and alterations to this policy can only be implemented via approval by the AC and the Board of Directors.
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A whistleblower as defined by this policy is an employee of (Name of Company/Organization) who reports an activity that he/she considers to be illegal or dishonest to one or more of . A whistleblower (also written as whistle-blower or whistle blower) is a person who exposes any kind of information or activity that is deemed illegal, unethical, or not correct within an organization that is . This policy aims to provide an avenue for employees or outside parties to raise concerns about Possible Improprieties and Obstructive Action within the Group which they become aware of and to provide assurance that they will be protected from reprisals or victimization for whistle-blowing in good faith and without erawtoir.ga policy is intended.