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Marquette University Law School: Blowing the Whistle on Whistleblower Laws and Policies

October 13, 2011

October 13, 2011
Milwaukee, WI

Chuck Howard will present on the topic entitled "Blowing the Whistle on Whistleblower Laws and Policies--Why Fear of Retaliation Limits Their Effectiveness?"

There are hundreds of whistleblower laws in the United States that provide incentives for people to report misconduct and prohibit retaliation against them for doing so. While recoveries from laws like the False Claims Act are significant, the perception--and often the reality--of what happens to whistleblowers who do come forward is that they pay dearly for their actions. In addition to trying to reward whistleblowers, why are we not also looking for better ways to help people address workplace conflict or misconduct without having to be a whistleblower? An organizational ombudsman can help an organization address this gap between encouraging the reporting of misconduct and protecting those who raise issues. Topics covered will include:

  • What are the basic problems with the way whistleblower laws work?
  • What are the limitations on the effectiveness of other channels such as help lines?
  • Why employers and employees have such different perceptions about what retaliation is?
  • Why is the fear of retaliation so strong?
  • How can an organizational ombudsman program benefit an organization?
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