When to blow the whistle

August 6, 2008
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Whistleblowers are learning the hard way that they wonâ??t necessarily get their jobs back by exposing problems.

The latest such case involved a former banker who saw his case rejected by an appeals court. The court ruled that his former employer didnâ??t necessarily violate the law. Now heâ??s teaching college classes.

Ice Miller partner Janice Wilken thinks workers assume that if something is unethical or immoral, it must be covered by whistleblower laws. Lifting the lid on problems helps shareholders and the company itself, Wilken says, but in many cases the employee still could end up without a job.

â??The mistake is not understanding before making the call, blowing the whistle,â?? she says.

Employees should talk to an attorney and an accountant before risking their job by exposing a situation, she says.

And she says companies should make it easy for employees to anonymously report problems so the problems can be corrected.

What do you think?

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