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The Corporate Whistleblower's Survival Guide

Book Description

From Erin Brockovich to Enron, whistleblowers who “challenge abuses of power that betray the public trust” have proven to be an unfortunate necessity in modern business culture. Their efforts to report crimes, fraud, and dangers to public health and safety have saved millions of lives and billions of dollars of shareholder value – and had we heeded the warnings of whistleblowers, perhaps disasters such as the Bernie Madoff scandal and the Lehman Brothers meltdown could have been averted. Recent federal legislation in finance and health reform have cemented legal protections and mechanisms for whistleblowing. This book provides a thorough guide and history to the whistleblower's legal rights. The ultimate survival guide, it provides advice on getting help and finding allies, warns that retaliation is often the reward for "committing the truth" and shows how to weather the storm. With extensive legal texts, sample letters, resources, and information on upcoming whistleblower reforms, this is the ultimate source on the subject.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover Page
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright Page
  4. Dedication
  5. Contents
  6. Foreword by Dr. Jeffrey Wigand
  7. Introduction: Whistleblowing in Corporate America
    1. The Need for This Handbook
    2. A Message to Corporate Leaders
  8. Chapter 1 Deciding to Blow the Whistle
    1. What Constitutes a Whistleblower Case?
    2. Facing Conflicting Values and Goals
    3. Whistleblowers at Their Best
    4. Reality Check for the Aspiring Whistleblower
      1. Shooting the Messenger
      2. The Personal Price
  9. Chapter 2 The Red Flags
    1. Targeting Dissenters: Tactics of Retaliation
      1. Spotlight the Whistleblower, Not the Wrongdoing
      2. Build a Damaging Record against the Whistleblower
      3. Threaten Them
      4. Isolate Them
      5. Set Them Up for Failure
      6. Physically Attack Them
      7. Eliminate Their Jobs
      8. Paralyze Their Careers
      9. Blacklist Them
    2. Neutralizing Dissent: Tactics of Cover-Up
      1. Gag the Employees
      2. Study It to Death
      3. Separate Expertise from Authority
      4. Institutionalize Conflict of Interest
      5. Keep Them Ignorant
      6. Prevent the Development of a Written Record
      7. Rewrite the Issues
      8. Scapegoat the Small Fry
  10. Chapter 3 What to Know Before You Blow
    1. Be Clear about Your Objectives
    2. Anonymity versus Going Public
      1. Questions to Help You Decide
    3. Thirteen Essential Survival Tips
    4. Maintaining Your Sanity
    5. Relationships, Relationships, Relationships!
      1. Building Partnerships
    6. Gathering More Information
      1. Corporate Filings
      2. Other Information in the Public Record
      3. Freedom of Information Act
      4. Public Interest Organizations and the Media
    7. A Note on Defamation
      1. Public Figures versus Private Citizens
      2. Truth as an Absolute Defense
  11. Chapter 4 Where to Go When You Want to Blow
    1. Whistle Where You Work: The Corporate Channels
      1. In-House Disclosure Programs
      2. Going up the Chain of Command
      3. Pointers for Taking It up the Chain
    2. Whistleblowing to Regulators and Law Enforcement
      1. The Problem of Regulatory Capture
      2. Pointers for Taking It to an Agency
    3. Whistleblowing to Congress
      1. Risks and Rewards of Taking It to Congress
      2. Pointers for Taking It to Congress
    4. Blowing the Whistle on Fraud through the Courts
      1. Origins of the False Claims Act
      2. How a False Claims Suit Works
      3. Considerations before Filing a False Claims Suit
    5. Whistleblowing and the Media
      1. News Media
      2. Pointers for Taking It to the News Media
      3. New and Social Media
      4. Pointers for Using Social and New Media
  12. Chapter 5 Getting Help in Blowing the Whistle
    1. Advocacy Partners: A Whistleblower’s Best Friend
      1. Public Interest Organizations
      2. Employee Organizations
      3. Employee Support Organizations
      4. Professional Associations
      5. Considerations before Working with Advocacy Partners
      6. Questions to Ask before Taking on an Advocacy Partner
    2. Whistleblowing on the Web
      1. WikiLeaks and Similar Sites
    3. Whistleblowers and Their Lawyers
      1. Considerations before Selecting a Lawyer
      2. Pointers for Choosing a Lawyer
      3. Pointers for Working with Your Lawyer
      4. Terminating the Attorney-Client Relationship
  13. Chapter 6 Whistleblowing and the Law
    1. SOX and Federal Whistleblower Statutes: A Mirage of Protection
      1. Your Rights on Paper
      2. SOX on Paper
      3. Your Rights in Reality
      4. What Went Wrong: OSHA
      5. What Went Wrong: ARB
      6. The Times Are They a-Changin’?
      7. Pointers for Filing a SOX Whistleblower Complaint
    2. False Claims Act
    3. State Statutory Protections
    4. Common-Law Protections
  14. Chapter 7 Corporate Whistleblower Reform
    1. The Principles of Reform
      1. Citizen Enforcement Act
    2. Corporate Policies and Guidelines
      1. Corporate Whistleblower’s Bill of Rights and Responsibilities
    3. Alternative Dispute Resolution
      1. Types of Alternative Dispute Resolution
      2. The Hanford Concerns Council
  15. Conclusion
  16. Whistleblower Toolkit
    1. Tool A: Filing a Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblower Complaint
    2. Tool B: Sample FOIA Request Letter
    3. Tool C: Public Interest Organizations
    4. Tool D: Online Resources
    5. Tool E: Federal Statutes with Corporate Whistleblower Provisions
    6. Tool F: International Ombudsman Association Standards of Practice
    7. Tool G: International Best Practices for Whistleblower Policies
    8. Tool H: Model Whistleblower Hotline Policy
    9. Tool I: Model Citizen Enforcement Act
  17. Acknowledgments
  18. Notes
  19. Glossary
  20. Bibliography
  21. Index
  22. About the Government Accountability Project