Beware Retaliation Against Whistle-Blowers

Risk Research Bulletin | February 2011 | 0 Comments  Average 0 out of 5

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A retaliation lawsuit can be lengthy and costly to litigate and can significantly damage an institution’s reputation. Understanding laws that protect whistle-blowers and adopting policies that protect employees who report illegal or improper conduct can help protect your institution.

United Educators (UE) analyzed laws protecting whistle-blowing employees from retaliation. The major laws that your institution needs to be aware of include:

  • The False Claims Act provides financial incentives for employees reporting fraud.
  • The Fair Labor Standards Act protects minimum wage and overtime pay for hourly employees.
  • State and local laws may protect employees from retaliation.

Retaliation claims can lead to expensive litigation costs and settlements. To make sure that your institution correctly handles a whistle-blower, consider the follow:

  • Adopt and enforce a code of conduct or whistle-blower protection policy and provide employee training on the policy.
  • Consider an anonymous reporting system.
  • Emphasize anti-retaliation during supervisor training.
  • If a complaint is filed against your institution, promptly involve human resources and legal counsel.
  • Carefully document the investigation of the employee’s claim.

To learn more about anti-retaliation laws, read the report.


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