Do Whistleblowers Have To Report To HR?

Do Whistleblowers Have To Report To HR?

No. In the United States, whistleblowers are not required to report to HR. Under federal law, whistleblowers can contact their own attorney before filing an internal report of fraud or misconduct. Federal law protects whistleblowers from retaliation and offers incentives to report through an attorney. Internal reports and corporate compliance departments do not owe duties to whistleblowers and offer them no incentives.

Internal Reporting Mechanisms Do Not Owe Whistleblowers Any Duties

Companies often offer various internal reporting mechanisms, including compliance hotlines, anonymous tip lines, and dedicated reporting channels, for whistleblowers to disclose wrongdoing within organizations. These mechanisms will often promise whistleblowers confidentiality and offer assurance that reports will be investigated and directed to the appropriate authorities. Whistleblowers might be tempted to use these internal reporting channels because they offer a chance to address issues internally first, potentially resolving them before they escalate or attract public attention.

Unfortunately, HR departments and compliance teams owe duties to the company, not to whistleblowers. No matter what promises a company makes to an employee who blows the whistle, its officers and supervisors must do what’s best for the company–not the whistleblower, and not the potential victim of misconduct or fraud. Acting in the best interest of the company almost always means protecting the company’s profits. Too often, a company’s anti-retaliation policy and promises of anonymity are set aside in order to “contain” misconduct that has been internally reported. In the words of one corporate compliance article written for executives, “you have a brand to protect”–not an employee.

Internal Retaliation Is Far Too Prevalent

80% to 90% of internal reporters of workplace misconduct experience retaliation, according to a 2022 global business survey. Whistleblowers who contact their own attorney are at far less risk of retaliation, in part because when an attorney files a whistleblower case, the case is kept “under seal” and completely secret.

Whisteblowers Who Report Through An Attorney Are Protected And May Be Entitled to Compensation

Whistleblowers are essential in revealing and combating illegal activities, particularly within healthcare settings, billing firms, and related Medicare entities. They possess insider knowledge of fraudulent behaviors, offering critical evidence to authorities for investigations and legal proceedings. Supported by the False Claims Act, whistleblowers are incentivized and safeguarded against reprisals, with the potential to receive a portion of government restitution. Ultimately, these individuals act as vital allies in safeguarding the healthcare system’s integrity and ensuring taxpayer funds are properly allocated for quality patient care. Whistleblowers play a crucial role in uncovering and combating these illicit activities. They can provide insider information about fraudulent practices within healthcare facilities, billing companies, or other organizations involved in Medicare billing.

Do whistleblowers have to report to HR