Phillips & Cohen partner Erika Kelton spoke with BBC’s Roger Hearing on the April 4, 2018 episode of the BBC’s World Service’s Business Matters. During the exchange, Ms. Kelton discussed the risks of becoming a whistleblower and put US whistleblower programs into international context. Listen to Mr. Hearing and Ms. Kelton’s conversation below:
“…Being a whistleblower is extremely risky. It’s risky professionally, it’s risky personally. When an individual steps forward, and blows the whistle on wrongdoing in the workplace, that person doesn’t know what’s going to happen next.
Even though there are laws … that provide for redress for employment retaliation, that remedy is really incomplete … What happens quite often is that whistleblowers find it extremely difficult to find another job.
We’ve had clients in my firm who’ve gone from senior defense contracting engineers or pharmaceutical sales representatives – being very well compensated and very good at what they do – and when they spoke up about wrongdoing … they were terminated by their employers, and then found it impossible to find another job. In those instances … one individual made money by mowing lawns and bagging groceries, and the other one had to move home and took up occasional work painting houses. People’s lives can be disrupted immensely.”
Listen to the entire broadcast about whistleblowers on BBC’s Business Matters. Interview with Erika Kelton begins at 26:30 mark.