Law360 Quotes R. Scott Oswald on Corporate Whistleblower Policies

Posted on May 26, 2013

For an article on how corporations can stop internal whistleblower complaints from blowing up into legal crises, Law360 consulted R. Scott Oswald, managing principal of The Employment Law Group® law firm.

Mr. Oswald told the legal news service of several ways in which companies treat whistleblowers badly — resulting in employees who take their complaints to a lawyer, or to the government, instead of keeping matters in-house.

To avoid this outcome, Mr. Oswald endorsed some best practices:

  • Publicize company-created channels for whistleblower complaints.
  • Actively follow up on whistleblower tips, so that employees don’t feel their complaints are ignored or neglected.
  • Manage all employee departures carefully and compassionately, without skipping steps or delaying benefits.
  • Link executive pay to compliance with whistleblower programs, sending employees “a clear signal” that the company takes these programs seriously.

The common thread: Clear communication with anyone who files — or might file — a whistleblower complaint.

“Whistleblowers come to me, in many instances, when they do not know what the company did with their information,” Mr. Oswald told Law360.

R. Scott Oswald represents employees in whistleblower and discrimination cases. He has brought more than three dozen trials to verdict and recovered more than $90 million in judgments and settlements.