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What are some facts about corporate whistleblowing?

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Quick Answer

Some facts about corporate whistleblowing include that many whistleblowers ultimately lose their lawsuits because of technical defenses and that many whistleblowers face retaliation, such as termination or harassment, for speaking out. Another fact about corporate whistleblowing is that many whistleblowing laws have very short statues of limitations, which means that an aggrieved employee must sue quickly if they want to hold the employer accountable for retaliating against the employee's whistleblowing.

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Full Answer

The Securities and Exchange Commission says that 3,238 employees reported corporate misconduct in 2013, according to Inside Counsel. The SEC reports receiving whistleblowing tips from all 50 states and from 55 foreign countries in 2013. State and federal laws protect whistleblowers. These laws can complicate law suits because an employee must take care to file a whistleblowing lawsuit in the proper court.

Another fact about corporate whistleblowing is that many corporate whistleblowing suits fail because the employee engaged in illegal or inappropriate behavior that related directly to the whistleblowing activity. Called the doctrine of unclean hands, a court or judge may limit the amount of damages that a whistleblower receives if the employee committed bad acts or broke laws in order to blow the whistle. Courts often also reject or limit aggrieved employees who fail to internally investigate the allegations before accusing an employer of wrongdoing.

Whistleblowing tips and lawsuits cover a large range of areas that include filing false reports and employer nepotism. Workplace safety and employer discrimination also comprise a significant number of corporate whistleblowing complaints, according to Inside Counsel.

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