Enhanced whistle blower protections

Enhanced Whistle Blower Protections A whistleblower is an individual with knowledge concerning any illegal or unlawful activities happening within oroutside an organization and takes measures to report them1. Anyone can become a whistleblower, it depends on the individual`s moral code. If he or she cannot stand injustice, corruption it is within their right to report the matter to the relevant authorities. Whistleblowers could either be employees, contractors or clients who through different ways became aware of illegal activities occurring within or outside an organization. Since being a whistleblower is risky, the essay discusses various ways to protect them from elements that want to harm them to prevent them from sharing the information they possess.
Whistleblowers fall into two categories. They include internal and external whistleblowers. Internal whistleblowers are the individuals who report discrepancies and misconducts of colleagues or their superiors to the management. Several reasons would motivate an employee to become a whistleblower. They include corruption, nepotism and sexual harassment. External whistleblowers are the individuals who disclose misconducts within the company to outside entities. They include lawyers, the media, police or watchdog agencies like anticorruption organizations. External whistleblowers are usually motivated by moral or selfish reasons.
Opinions concerning whistleblowers differ from different people. To some, whistle blowing is as an act of selflessness while others accuse them of pursuing fame, fortune, greed and personal glory. This persecution of whistleblowers mostly comes from the affected or implicated individuals who want to discredit them to absolve themselves of the accusations. Individuals who want to prevent the disclosure of information often target whistleblowers. It becomes a dangerous situation with whistleblowers fearing for their lives as they get pursued. Countless whistleblowers have been killed while others have been forced into exile because they exposed the corruption in an organization.
These actions led to the creation of witness protection agencies, which offer protection to whistleblowers when and until they finish presenting their proof of the misconducts to the relevant authorities. For example, the United States has several institutions that protect whistleblowers. They include the National Whistleblowers Center that protects whistleblowers from discrimination from the organization or their fellow employees. This act protects whistleblowers` identities from disclosure. It also provides funds to help them offset the legal fees incurred during and after the trial. After an employee has exposed the damaging information regarding the discrepancies within the organization, their fellow employees and employers discriminate against them. In some instances, they are fired from work, which is disappointing since they were doing their moral duty by coming forward. This method of eliminating employees from the organization is referred to as mobbing. It is a form of bullying, whereby a group of unhappy employees target a specific individual within the work place2.
There also exists legislation that seeks to protect the whistle blowers from persecution and prosecution. An example is the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act (WPEA)3.It seeks to encourage whistleblowers to come forth and report cases of misconduct. Corporations like the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and the Internal Revenue Service mostly rely on the information supplied to them by whistleblowers. Most countries have found that whistleblowers are an important aspect of governance since they help keep corporations in check.
Whistleblowers are important since they act on what they believe in, but these accusations must be accompanied by irrefutable proof of the misconducts or else they will be sued for defamation. Investigations are rarely carried out in the event a whistleblower presents any information. The claims may be unfounded and simply fuelled by unscrupulous employees who have a vendetta towards the organization. So before acting on the information, first investigate then proceed to prosecute the guilty parties.
Bibliography
Arszułowicz, Marek, and Wojciech Gasparski. Whistleblowing in Defense of Proper Action New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction, 2011.
Kessler, Gerald M. Law and Law Enforcement Issues New York: Nova Science Publishers, 2007.
Vaughn, Robert G. Successes and Failures of Whistleblower Laws. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar, 2012.
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