Zarra Elias’s recent post on Lexology.com (‘Whistleblowing Increases with Increasing Visibility’) was on point.
Elias cited a 2017 report that identified a 56% increase in whistleblowing since 2010. This rise represents a new normal; one requiring organizations to be prepped to manage the increase. This bump in compliance and ethics reports also aligns with 2016 EEOC statistics which revealed increasing complaints of retaliation related to prior reports of violations.
Whistleblowing is not going away. In addition to the naturally occurring increase in activity, media attention has increased employees’ awareness of their rights. Frequent headlines recently across industries such as airlines, banks, television networks, and others bear out what happens by failing to investigate an employee’s concern.
Accordingly, we suspect regulatory agencies will continue to focus on retaliation complaints and to prioritize methods to protect whistleblowers. Consider this: the EEOC in 2016 published new retaliation guidance and OSHA issued a document on “Recommended Practices for Anti-Retaliation Programs.”
Elias concludes her article encouraging employers consider adopting best practices and procedures, along with training for personnel on how to respond to complaints. Key practices would include among others: an outside hotline for reporting concerns; clear reporting channels for employees to connect with HR; taking steps to protect employees who report wrong doings; creating methods to track reported issues; and ensuring procedures and policies are current with applicable laws. Used correctly, tools that empower employees to speak up actually save organizations from aggravations, including wasted time and money.
In the current climate of litigation and retaliation, Red Flag Reporting provides a platform for protections. Red Flag Reporting offers an innovative and highly effective ethics hotline, safety hotline, fraud hotline and whistleblower hotline. Red Flag Reporting will help protect your organization’s employees, goodwill, and bottom line.