LL: What is the biggest headline out of this study?
PH: The biggest news is that there has been a significant increase in retaliation against whistleblowers for reporting ethics and compliance violations. In ’07 it was 12 percent in ‘09 it was 15 percent and now its 22 percent.
The retaliation involves everything from behaviors that are subtle (such as being left out of key discussions or team projects) to more overt disciplinary action (such as being transferred, not being able to get a bonus or a raise or being transferred). Thirty-one percent of employees even experience physical harm to their person or property for having reported wrongdoing in the workplace. The challenge for business is creating an environment where people are comfortable and protected for alerting management about unethical behavior.
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