Understanding and Avoiding Employee Whistleblowing Claims
Retaliation and whistleblower claims are probably the fastest growing type of litigation facing employers today. With the enactment of new statutes which expand employee protection and remedies, the number of claims, and attorneys representing employees are likely to increase. This presentation will outline the new laws and the changing legal landscape in which employers of all sizes now find themselves. We will discuss the substance of these statutes, how they differ from other types of discrimination claims and the dangers that they pose in terms of managing employees and record keeping.
In addition to reviewing the kinds of remedies that employees will be entitled to seek, it will also provide guidance on how companies can best protect themselves against these claims, through properly drafted policies, rules for managers, and investigations which do not create additional problems. Preventing lawsuits from being filed is extremely difficult, but setting up protective measures and having good defensive mechanisms ready to go can prove to be enormously valuable tools. Our goal is to help companies set up their preventive measures and defenses to minimize risks from these cases.
Watch the recording above to learn what you need to know about whistleblowing and retaliation in the workplace.
You will learn:
- Companies must assume that they are subject to federal (and often state) whistleblower statutes even if they are privately held.
- The issue is not whether the company did anything illegal; rather, the question is whether the employee believes that it did and what the company did after the employee made the report.
- New kinds of remedies, including bounties for whistleblowers, mean that companies cannot rely on internal policies alone for protection, but must develop a culture in which coming forward is not “a crime.”
- Appropriate policies, hotlines and other avenues for employees to express concerns must be developed and maintained.
- Managers must involve HR and/or legal in any employment decisions being made about employees who claim to have blown the whistle.
- Problems in employee performance must be well documented to avoid claims of retaliation.
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