Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Price of Being a Whistle-Blower

The New York Times recently published (9/21) an article, "The Price Whistle-Blowers Pay for Secrets", wherein the author argues that being a whistle-blower is a high risk proposition and that "doing the right thing . . . will be emotionally costly, even if there’s eventually a monetary award."  Many of the sources for the article are from the plaintiffs' or relator bar.  I did not see one source cited from the defense side.

It is, of course, undeniable that some whistle-blowers suffer terribly and undergo great hardships to tell their compelling stories.  At the same time, the article does not at all account for the fact that many so called "whistle-blowers" are anything but that.  Moreover, the article ignores the growing number of suits by plaintiffs and defendants who seek to cast themselves as whistle-blowers, and the societal and legal costs of dealing with this ever increasing number of claimants.  Instead of bringing their complaints or observations of alleged wrong doing in the workplace to their employers, many of these litigants rush to the courthouse to file lawsuits of dubious merit at best.  Finally, the article appears blind to the all too numerous examples where whistle-blowers are themselves dishonest or are a participant in the wrongdoing that they are complaining about.

A. Brian Albritton
September 26, 2012