In a Law360 article, Phillips & Cohen partner Erika Kelton discusses the potential consequences that proposed EU whistleblower legislation could have for EU and UK whistleblowers.
The EU’s proposed legislation will require whistleblowers to wait three to six months after raising concerns internally before they can go to the authorities. Phillips & Cohen’s Kelton fears these requirements will result in harassment or termination of employment.
“Some organizations take their internal reporting very seriously … but the most sophisticated types of fraud, misconduct or wrongful business practice is often directed at or near from the top of the company because it’s a business strategy of how to improve the bottom line,” Kelton said.
She added that the EU’s requirements would allow organizations to seek to protect themselves and possibly even destroy evidence. “You’re creating an opportunity for bad actors to thwart any future investigations,” Kelton added.
“If a chief executive … gets a slap on the wrist and is allowed to stay in their job after conduct like that — basically a witch hunt — it sends a message that offenders will be protected while whistleblowers will be left out in the cold,” said Phillips & Cohen LLP partner Erika Kelton. “It was a missed opportunity.”
Read the full article, “EU Reforms May Help Open Doors For Whistleblowers,” on Law360’s website (subscription required).