Whether big or small, every company has employees who form groups and complain about the company. They generally criticize their pay, working hours and safety standards. Some of them go a little further and become whistleblowers creating issues.
A whistleblower is an employee who complains to external agencies that the company is doing something he believes is wrong. As an employer, you should be aware of how you can avoid whistleblower risks.
The purpose of this article is not to say that whistleblowing is wrong. We think many of the whistleblower cases can be avoided provided employers take care of certain things.
Why whistle blowers are a risk
Dealing with whistleblowers is risky because they often complain to government agencies without first bringing the issue to the cognizance of their employer.
Whether an employee is merely a complainer or really a whistleblower, you have to be very careful in dealing with them as the law protects them. The purpose of the Whistleblowers Protection Act is to allow employees to report employer’s actions that the employee thinks violate specific rules. There are many federal and state laws such as the Occupational Safety and Health Act, the False Claims Act, the Dodd-Frank Act, Sarbanes-Oxley Act, etc. that provide protection to whistleblowers.
The law also protects the employee against retaliation from the employer like disengaging the employee, denying benefits, demoting, intimidating, blacklisting, disciplining, denying overtime or promotion and reducing pay or hours.
Further, the employee who blows the whistle gets 15%-25% of the amount as an award by the court of law according to the law under False Claims Act.
What the employer needs to do
You may not be willing to believe that an unacceptable activity is going on in your company, but showing your anger to the whistleblower is likely to make it more problematic. Instead, be sensible and consider the issue as an opportunity to review existing systems and processes.
As an employer, the first thing that you need to do is assess the workplace and ensure that it is per compliance standards. You should follow the rules meticulously and ensure compliance. In some states, it is mandatory for employers to display whistleblower posters. Make sure to check the laws with a compliance services provider.
Hold goodwill meetings
It's important to note that for optimal compliance of labor laws, employees' cooperation is essential as well. Make sure to gain goodwill of your employees by cultivating cordial relations with them. Make rules at the workplace clear. Explain your position firmly. This is likely to dissuade employees from becoming potential whistleblowers.
Develop a compliant policy
Create a positive impression among employees that, as the employer, you are not going to retaliate when an employee complains about a certain process or activity. If you get a complaint submitted by an employee, investigate the matter thoroughly and take remedial measures without fail according to rules of your company. This will help you gain the trust of employees.
Take help of compliance services
The problem with whistleblowers is the exact definition of the term is not clear. Some statutes have definitions that are very narrow and others give a very broad definition. Therefore, it's better to take help of compliance services to avoid risk.
Whatever is the outcome of the whistleblower case, you will have to spend a lot of time, effort and money. By taking the precautions as discussed, you can minimize whistleblower risks.
Article Source: http://www.abcarticledirectory.com
Labor Law Center provides labor law poster service & compliance solutions to businesses, across the United States since 1999. Labor law posters at Laborlawcenter.com make it easy for the businesses to stay compliant with the latest labor laws and regulations. If you're looking for California labor law posters, Laborlawcenter.com might be the right option.
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