III.B Gene James, Whistleblowing

III.B Gene James, Whistleblowing - III.B. Whistle­Blowing...

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Unformatted text preview: III.B. Whistle­Blowing III.B. Whistle­Blowing Distinctions Distinctions a. internal – external b. current – alumni c. open – anonymous Legal considerations Legal considerations An employee has a legal obligation to report that his/her employer is about to commit a felony (1990) Michigan passes state law prohibiting retaliation for reporting a violation of local, state, or fed law Cont. Cont. Federal laws (e.g., National Labor Relations Act) contain some protection Canada has more: Whistleblower’s Protection Act, 1994 Protection from harassment or intimidation when employee complies with the law, esp. environmental laws De George’s proposed De George’s proposed criteria for justified external whistle­blowing 1. The product/policy will do harm to the public 2. The employee has first informed the employer DeGeorge DeGeorge 3. If one’s immediate supervisor does nothing about the concern, one should “climb the corporate ladder”, taking advantage of all internal procedures before taking the matter public 4. One’s view about the risks must be documented 5. One must have reason to believe that going public will effect a change I.e., internal whistle­blowing before external Problems with DeGeorge Problems with DeGeorge ­1: Vagueness. What counts as harm in (1)? ­2: clause (5) is just false; one should always warn another of impending harm even if there is reason to believe the person won’t act ­3: clause (3) should have an “override” subclause in cases where it’s your own supervisor who is doing the harm or in extreme cases ­4: against clause (4), sometimes only the proper authorities can gain access to such documents Summation Summation Although strict rules would be nice, the fact is that there are no hard­and­fast criteria Whistle­blowing involves the weighing of many (often conflicting) factors Some Additional Guidelines Some Additional Guidelines 1. Be prompt in expressing objections 2. Proceed in a tactful, low­key manner 3. Be accurate 4. Consult: Exaggeration and inaccuracy make it look like you don’t know what you’re talking about trusted colleagues the ethics committee of your professional society a lawyer ...
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This note was uploaded on 07/06/2010 for the course PHIL 210B taught by Professor Koperski during the Winter '09 term at Saginaw Valley.

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