Many employers are aware of the potential and risk for claims regarding harassment, discrimination, and violations of other employment laws. But did you know that claims of retaliation against employees for exercising rights under these laws is also a big risk area for employers?
KMA encourages employers to create and support a commitment to compliance and ethical behavior. Management must be willing to listen and take action when whistleblower reports or complaints are made.
Putting policies in place, training managers, and communicating this well to employees are all keys for employer protection against whistleblower claims.
Consider taking the following actions:
- Develop a code of ethics for your organization
- Develop and incorporate a whistleblower policy in your employee handbook
- Appoint a compliance officer
- Conduct an annual compliance review
- Ensure your employment posters are up-to-date, including your whistleblower poster, and include a contact for reporting
- Communicate your policies and company commitment to compliance and reporting of noncompliance to all employees and as part of new employee orientation
- Train supervisors and managers on monitoring for compliance and receiving and acting on whistleblower reports
- Take all reports seriously and have a process in place to investigate them.
See the following Mainebiz article on protecting your organization from Whistleblower claims for more information and guidance or contact KMA for assistance.