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Legal Risks And Consequences For Covering Up Whistleblowing

Covering up whistleblowing can lead to severe legal and reputational risks for organisations.

Some leaders in organisations look at whistleblowers as “troublemakers”.

Gaining an understanding that a whistleblower does not have the intention to destroy an organisation’s reputation, but to assist their workplace to avoid repercussions or to maintain organisational integrity is critical.

When leaders cover up whistleblowing they overlook the whistleblower’s integrity.

Furthermore, this can expose them to severe legal risks and consequences.

Cover up whistleblowing - whistleblowing & risk solutions

If the whistleblower can provide reasonable proof of unfair retaliation and the internal reports of misconduct, it becomes an easy lawsuit against an organisation. The whistleblower only has to believe the wrongdoing is ongoing, they don’t need to know that it is. So retaliating when they are wrong is counter-intuitive, what needs to happen is an education of the whistleblower to detail why they are wrong.

After all, employees have legal whistleblowing rights.

Tampering with evidence and blackmailing whistleblowers/witnesses can lead to serious penalties, fines and even imprisonment.

These consequential repercussions can have an immense impact for the organisation.

An organisation will struggle to bounce back after facing these legal actions, the action can cause reputational, financial and legal difficulties.

Major backlash from media coverage about covering up whistleblowing is almost guaranteed, especially for “well-known” organisations – McDonalds and Boeing being just two.

Employees, partners, customers, the public and stakeholders will begin to lose trust in the organisation.

Barclays Chief Executive, Jes Staley’s attempt to uncover a whistleblower:

Staley tried to uncover the whistleblower by contracting a private investigation company.

A fine of £642,430 was made out to Jes Staley by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Furthermore, £500,000 of Staley’s bonus was retrieved by Barclays, due to the lawsuit and backlash.

In total, Staley lost over £1.1m of his own money.


Volkswagen tampering with evidence and unfair dismissal of a whistleblower:

Hemanth Kapanna was unfairly dismissed because he refused to tamper with evidence for Volkswagen.

Kapanna then exposed Volkswagen for their continuous lies about diesel car emissions and for his unfair dismissal from Volkswagen.

Over $25 billion of fines were made out to Volkswagen.

The general manager, Oliver Schmidt, for Volkswagen Michigan was sentenced to prison for seven years.


NHS tactics for silencing whistleblowers:

The NHS has multiple whistleblowers whom they have forcefully retaliated against.

NHS managers use different tactics in order to “break” whistleblowers.

Whistleblowers receive constant bullying and harassment from their managers and colleagues.

Out of 52 whistleblowers that were interviewed the following numbers said:

41 went under investigation after blowing the whistle.

36 were still concerned for patient’s safety even after blowing the whistle.

28 confirmed that their reports for patients safety were actually looked at.

24 out of 28 still had concerns after investigations took place.


In order to prevent lawsuits, loss of money, damaged reputation and loss of share price it is crucial for organisations to follow the rules and take measures to secure the workplace.

Has your internal whistleblowing system prevented the following of policy?

Has your organisation protected whistleblowers against retaliation?

Are you getting enough reports on wrongdoing?

Are they secure enough?

Are there leaders in your organisation that are covering up whistleblowing incidents?

You need to reconsider your organisation’s protection system.

Your solution could just be right in front of you.

Aranea is a secured, encrypted and anonymous platform.

Rest assured that Aranea will protect the integrity and reputation of the entire organisation.

It’s your duty to reach out for it.