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Stiffer penalties for those with whistleblower complaints

As a previous post discussed, blowing the whistle on an employer is not an easy situation for employees in Iowa and elsewhere to be in. However, whistleblowers should note that they serve a vital role in society. Without them, there would be waste, fraud and abuse by private and government employees. Because of that, rules and regulations have been passed to protect these individuals from retaliation and harassment, helping them overcome the fear of blowing the whistle.

According to current research, whistleblowers have helped bring stiffer penalties against those guilty of the crimes reported in their complaints. Upon noticing that some firms were recently hit hard with higher financial penalties and longer prison sentences, researchers looked into this situation further.

It was discovered that when a whistleblower was involved in the matter, there was an 8.5 percent increased likelihood that the employer would be hit with monetary sanctions. Additionally, it was found that there was a 6.6 percent increased likelihood for criminal sanctions to be placed against the employer.

This study found some eye-opening data along the way. According to researchers, the penalties firms experienced ranged from $8.7 million without a whistleblower to $30.5 million with a whistleblower. Penalties also increased for employees reported, going from $22.8 to $69.4 million with a whistleblower. Finally, it was found that prison sentences increased from 22.5 months to 41.9 months when a whistleblower was involved.

The goal of a whistleblower is to report unlawful acts in the workplace. While this could mean harsh penalties for the accused, this also means rights and protections for whistleblowers. If you believe that you have been retaliated against or harassed because of blowing the whistle, it is important to note your rights. Taking legal action could help protect you in the matter, helping you collect compensation for any arising damages from the situation.

Source: Asunow.asu.edu, "Whistleblowers help regulators bring stiffer penalties," Sept 25, 2017

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