Whistleblower Protection

Whistleblower protection is an important element to your employee handbook. As a business entity, you want a way in which your employee’s can report an issue of wrongdoing internally within the organization to allow you to investigate the matter and correct it as soon as possible. If you don’t have such a policy, consider that if an employee does not feel that they have a fair internal system by which to report issues, they will likely defer to using an outside agency first. While it is any employee’s right to go to an outside agency, wouldn’t you prefer to have the ability to address the matter first? Having a policy that allows for reporting and investigation of claims will help employees understand their rights and the process, making them feel comfortable using it. 

Having a non-retaliation provision in the policy stating that employees will not be retaliated against for specifically having brought up a complaint or for having participated in an interview also provides confidence in using the process. The EEOC signifies that fear of retaliation is one of the biggest reasons why people don’t make complaints. What is also important to know is that if an individual files a claim, for example, of sexual harassment or discrimination based on a protected class, they may lose on the initial claim but later win on a retaliation claim. Also, important to know is that many regulations have anti-retaliation provisions in the law. This is true not only in terms of civil rights complaints but for complaints of other violations of the law. 

The EEOC posts historical numbers. Their data shows that retaliation complaints are on the rise. Outside of EEOC complaints, review of the Department of Labor’s website shows numerous news releases related to retaliation where employees have been reinstated with backpay after being fired for having raised concerns. The claims over the last year include being retaliated for reporting environmental concerns, safety concerns, and IRS violations.

If you need Human Resources expertise or additional HR resources to support your existing HR staff or to create or update policies, we can help you at Southwestern HR Consulting (SWHRC).  Contact SWHRC today at the link above to talk to find out about our services and our team of experts.

Magdalena Vigil-Tullar

Written by | Magdalena Vigil-Tullar


Phone: 505-270-7494 | Email: magdalena@swhrc.com

PO Box 14274 | Albuquerque, NM 87191

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EEOC Employee Handbook Human Resources Whistleblower Protection