In my opinion, whistle-blowing is good for organizations because it deters or prevents them from doing what is wrong like taking advantage of their unsuspecting customers. The awareness that there might be whistle-blowers in their companies would give them the feeling that there are unseen eyes looking over their shoulders. More often than not, companies tend to take comfort in the fact that all of their employees are loyal and that none of them would snitch on their companies for fear of tarnishing their good name as well as that of the company. It is because of this that most companies take advantage of their customers and earn profits that are questionable. It is good to have whistle-blowers in a company but these people should have good intentions for snitching on the company.
They should tread the line between loyalty to the company and loyalty to what is perceived as good. But then there could be people who will snitch on the company as a means of getting greater financial gains and border on blackmail.Most whistle-blowers snitch on their companies either for moral or financial fulfillment. However, they first have to find incriminating evidence to pin down their companies whom they suspect or accuse of doing something illegal. This would not be an easy thing to do. Once the company gets wind of their evidence gathering activities, their quest to right a wrong would end even before it has started. If the prospective whistle-blower is caught without him or her having gathered even a single piece of strong evidence against the company , he or she stands a big chance of losing his or her job and holding an empty bag.
Not all whistle-blowers have good intentions of squealing on their companies. As was mentioned some employees become whistle blowers just to earn a fast buck or get back at their companies. This often results in frivolous or senseless lawsuits. Frivolous lawsuits are a waste of time for the courts. Just to get on with it, a judge or a jury would just advise the complainant and the accused to just settle. Caleb Hannan says (Hannan, 2010)“ Courts reduce awards many times, and many times parties settle for less to avoid lengthy, costly appeals.
” This is where the haggling begins and it goes one until either of the two parties give up and just settle for any amount just to get it done with. Such attitude on the part of whistle-blowers who are only after financial gains tend to affect whistle-blowers who have legitimate cases against companies who are into illegal activities.Whistle-blowers who have legitimate complaints against their companies might be forced to think twice before coming forward thinking that they might not be taken seriously by the courts. And these whistle-blowers are not really after money but change. Chances are, the courts might think that they are just like any other whistle-blower and force them into a settlement; otherwise the case would just drag on.
What can companies and the government do to avoid frivolous lawsuits? For one, they should be careful about hiring prospective employees. According to Mitch Baker, (Baker, 2007), prospective employers who are being interviewed “should be required to fill out completely and accurately an employment application, and then you carefully must review the results. No matter how desperate an employer is to fill a position, you should think twice before hiring a candidate who has held six jobs in five years, been fired twice and listed ‘abusive supervisors’ or ‘poor management’ as a reason for leaving others.For me, when an employer notices something not right in what his or her company is doing, he or she should call the attention of her immediate supervisor. Doing so would establish him or her as a legitimate complainant or witness should the employer bring the case to the attention of higher authorities like commissions or the courts. The disadvantage of bringing the case to the attention of his or her immediate supervisor is the latter might just brush off the complaint especially if the supervisor is very much on the side of management. The tables might likely be turned on the employee with good intentions for calling out the irregularity.
ReferencesBaker, Mitch. ( 2007). Business Publications. Commentary: Stop Frivolous Lawsuits by Making Right Hire at the.
Retrieved July 26, 2010 from http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4184/is_20070419/ai_n19038615/.Hannan, Caleb. (2010). Seattle weekly Blogs. Reader: Frivolous Lawsuits Don’t Happen as Often as You Might Think.
Retrieved July 26, 2010 from http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/dailyweekly/2010/05/reader_frivolous_lawsuits_dont.php.