You can fill out a form online with The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). So far the SEC has received over 1,000 comments from people who support whistleblower protections as a way to help prevent another US financial meltdown. But not everyone sees the Commission's proposed changes as a good thing.
Many corporations are opposed, believing that the SEC's proposed bounty would wrongly encourage employees to skip reporting suspected misconduct in-house and go straight to the SEC. (Attorney Bijan Esfandiari at Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman, said that, in his experience, an employee will usually try to work within the company first to correct the wrong. An employee usually becomes a whistleblower after trying and failing to resolve the issue in-house. They go up the corporate ladder to complain, from supervisor to district manager and, if the complaint cannot be resolved, they go to an outside attorney.)
In a letter to the SEC, several large corporations, including McDonald's (MCD), Delta Air Lines (DAL), General Mills (GIS), UnitedHealth Group (UNH), Intel (INTC), and JC Penney (JCP), wrote the following: "We believe that the Commission's proposals will have the impact of thwarting internal compliance and reporting programs in a manner inconsistent with the intent of the Dodd Frank legislation that authorized them."
Instead, they want an employee to go through existing internal channels first, which would give the company "reasonable time" to resolve the suspected wrongdoing before the whistleblower alerts the SEC. However, does every company have "internal compliance mechanisms" in place?
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And what constitutes "reasonable time"? What happens to the whistleblower during this reasonable time? Chances are, they are terminated and of course, unprotected.
Many whistleblowers have waited several years for justice; some have lost their homes, their life savings and their families.
Ultimately, the whistleblower has a choice, but the SEC is hopeful that a potential whistleblower will come to the agency if they believe their company's internal compliance program is doubtful, or they are afraid of retaliation.
And you have a voice—in this case, until midnight, December 17.