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As number of whisteblowers grow, so does the retaliation

Whistleblowing is not an easy stance to take. Employees need to muster a lot of courage to come forward and point out wrongdoings at their workplace. The good news, the amount of people coming forward to report misconduct is increasing. But the bad news, the rate at which companies are retaliating against those whistleblowing employees is also increasing.

A recent survey showed that even though there are less incidents of misconduct being reported, the whistleblowers who are coming forward are doing so in greater numbers. Workers are most likely coming forward not only because it is the right thing to do, but they feel they can get help and be protected. In New Jersey, the Conscientious Employee Protection Act is a law that protects employees from retaliatory action against them from an employer.

The recent influx of retaliatory actions by employers is exactly why the law was put into place. The number of people who spoke up against their employer and suffered retaliation doubled from 2013 to 2017.

There is not an industry or business sector that has been immune to whistleblowing. However, publicly traded companies have outpaced privately held companies in reports of misconduct by employees.

What are people whistleblowing about? Here are the top behaviors leading to whistleblowing:

  • Companies lying to employees and stakeholders
  • Abusive conduct and behavior
  • Conflicts of interest

Being in the position of a whistleblower is not easy. You may feel you don't want to disrupt the comfort and flow of your work life. But if you are ever confronted with a situation that needs to have a whistle blown at work, just know there are laws and other support systems in place to assist you when speaking up.

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