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Whistle Blower

An employee of a company who has knowledge of illegal activities and reports them to the authorities. Generally speaking, a whistle blower reports the activities out of a sense of conscience or out of a desire to avoid criminal charges himself/herself. Under federal law, whistle blowers may not be fired, but some companies find ways around this.


An employee or other person who publicly exposes the wrongdoings of a private company. For example, if a company is illegally dumping chemicals in a protected environment, a whistleblower may tell the proper authorities or, failing that, the media. Certain laws may protect whistleblowers from being fired or other negative consequences within the company.
Farlex Financial Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All Rights Reserved


someone who publicizes or reports to the relevant authorities what they perceive to be unlawful or unethical practices by their employer or fellow employees. Whistle-blowing has become more prominent in recent years, in part because of the trend towards commercialization of public services (e.g. in the health service). Many CONTRACTS OF EMPLOYMENT now preclude employees from publicizing any aspect of the employing organization without prior authorization, and this has made whistle-blowing a more secretive and more dramatic activity Those blowing the whistle, rather than those committing the unlawful or unethical act, are often those penalized by the employer. However, in some circumstances (e.g. health and safety violations) whistle-blowers now have legal protection.
Collins Dictionary of Business, 3rd ed. © 2002, 2005 C Pass, B Lowes, A Pendleton, L Chadwick, D O’Reilly and M Afferson
References in periodicals archive ?
The SEC (http://www.sec.gov/whistleblower) whistle-blower program , which Thomas helped author in his former position at the SEC, gives 10 to 30 percent of the proceeds from an enforcement case to a helpful whistle-blower.
Despite the fact that prosecutions of employers for retaliating against whistle-blowers are a rarity, lawyers nonetheless recommend that their corporate clients frame their own whistle-blowing policies as a safeguard against such prosecutions.
That happens because some view a whistle-blower as someone sharing knowledge of misconduct for the benefit of others and some believe that a whistle-blower is acting disloyal to their organization.
"We're actually working on whistle-blower legislation, its part of a project we're looking into," said Bryan Stirewalt, director, Supervision, at the DFSA, speaking on the sidelines of a press briefing by the financial services regulator on money laundering.
Not all situations of perceived wrongdoing justify whistle-blowing, and not all whistle-blowers are driven by purely altruistic motives.
Kristin Turner voiced a whistle-blower's dream: "I wish the hospital had done the right thing on [its] own." Today--among other changes--a toll-free, confidential "whistle-blower" hotline exists for laboratory employees: 866-236-7217 (International: 847-832-7533).
Second, be supportive of active, involved audit committees, increased focus on internal controls, a strong code of ethics and support for whistle-blower hot lines.
Educate managers and supervisors about the ramifications of retaliating against whistle-blowers and about procedures for handling employee concerns.
Whistle-blowers are protected under the law, but as the judge pointed out in the Githongo case, this immunity cannot apply when one deliberately causes publication of what they are blowing the whistle on.
The implications of this new law in the EU are significant, as whistle-blowers will enjoy a wide range of legal protections that should make it dramatically easier for employees to speak up when they see misconduct inside an organization.
The new rules, adopted with 591 votes in favour, lay down new, EU-wide standards to protect whistle-blowers revealing breaches of EU law in a wide range of areas including public procurement, financial services, money laundering, nuclear safety, said an EP press release.
Switzerland's highest court has convened on Wednesday to decide whether prosecutors can pursue whistle-blowers for breaking the country's bank secrecy law wherever they are in the world.