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Corporations are Retaliating Against Whistleblowers at an Alarming Rate

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Retaliation against corporate whistleblowers is becoming epidemic, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has launched an aggressive lobbying campaign against the nation’s most impactful whistleblowing laws.

According to the Ethics Resource Center (ERC), 45 percent of U.S. workers have observed misconduct at their companies; 65 percent reported the misconduct and 22 percent report being retaliated against for doing so. Stephen Kohn, of the Whistleblowers Protection Blog, says this is an all-time high.  In 2007, an ERC survey showed that only around 10 or 11 percent of whistleblowers reported retaliation, according to Corporate Counsel.

The ERC says not only is the rate of retaliation on the rise, it is becoming a problem even at corporations with “a demonstrated commitment to ethics.” Senior managers face the greatest risk of retaliation, according to the group, as retaliation against them has increased exponentially. Many employees say they were fired, quit under duress, or faced altered job responsibilities after reporting misconduct, according to a study from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. In some cases, employees had to switch industries to get away from harassment, Corporate Counsel reported.

Last month, J.P. Morgan Chase was ordered to pay $13 billion to settle charges that the firm had overstated the quality of mortgages it sold to investors as the financial crisis began to unfold, making it the largest settlement ever between the U.S. Department of Justice and a corporation. The charges stemmed from claims by a former J.P. Morgan employee, according to CNBC.com.

The whistleblower was hired by the financial institution in 2006 as a deal manager. A few months later, she became a whistleblower when a new diligence manager came to the corporation with a “no email” policy. The woman would come to discover that roughly half the loans in a multimillion-loan pool had overstated incomes. CNBC.com cited the example of a manicurist who claimed to earn six-figure salary. The whistleblower knew such loans would likely be at great risk for default, putting the investors who bought the securities in peril.

The woman reported the misconduct up her management chain and authored a letter that the DOJ used as evidence, and is credited with helping to bring about the $13 billion judgment, CNBC.com reported.

breakinglawsuitnews.com disclaimer: This article: Corporations are Retaliating Against Whistleblowers at an Alarming Rate was posted on Monday, December 15th, 2014 at 6:30 pm at breakinglawsuitnews.com and is filed under Employment Lawsuits, Fraud Lawsuits.

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