Whistle blowing or public interest disclosure as known in legal jargon refers to a situation when an employee divulges information about a wrongdoing or malpractice that they discover in the workplace. Whistle blowing does not cover cases of poor performance, settlement of personal issues or lack of professionalism. Whistle blowing can only be used where cases of wrongdoing, malpractice and graft are evident, whether done unknowingly or deliberately (Dehn, 2001).
I do not think Joseph Wellington handled and answered the question asked by the participant appropriately. When asked the question, Mr. Wellington did not give a clear answer as to what the procedures were concerning whistle blowing in the corporation (Bouville, 2007). In giving the answer, Mr. Wellington tries to use intimidation. He tells the participant that one has to have legitimate claims since he is dealing with the government. In my opinion, before blowing the whistle on anyone, in any department whether private or government run, legitimacy of the claims has to be established (Carson, Verdu, &Wokutch, 2007).
It is my feeling that Mr. Wellington used the government to create fear in the participant. Mr. Wellington also cited reprisals for whistle blowing where legitimacy of the claim was not established. I do not feel this was done in good faith. If I were to answer the participant, I would first outline the procedures for whistle blowing in the corporation. I would also discuss the provisions of the law protecting whistle blowers from reprisals. Finally, I would caution against using whistle blowing to settle scores and insist that one have concrete evidence (Oliver, 2003).
Inasmuch as whistle blowing is encouraged at the workplace, it is not very welcome. Whistle blowing exposes moral decadence and graft at the workplace. Many a times, it implicates the top executives. In so doing, they lack the good faith with the employee. Even where the provisions of the law require that the corporation rehires the employee, significant effort is used to fight that. This makes one feel how unwelcome the practice of whistle blowing is at the work place. For instance, David Windhauser, a former controller for Trane was the victim of a pursuit of a whistle blower complaint. The provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act required that his former employers rehire him. Despite the law, the employee was engaged in many months of ups and downs trying to get his job back (O’Donnell, 2005). This is an apt allusion of how unwelcome whistle blowing is at the work place.
Bouville. M (2007). Whistle blowing and morality. Journal of Business Ethics doi: 10.1007/s10551-007-9529-72
Carson, T., Verdu, M. and Wokutch, R. (2007). ‘Whistle-blowing for profit: An ethical analysis of the federal false claims act’. Journal of Business Ethics. In press, DOI: 10.1007/s10551-007-9355-y.
Dehn, G. (2001). Whistle blowing: A New Perspective. Retrieved from http://iacconference.org/documents/cs60a.pdf . [Accessed on 21 November 21, 2012]
O’Donnell, J. (2005). Blowing the whistle can lead to harsh aftermath, despite law. Retrieved fromhttp://usatoday30.usatoday.com/money/workplace/2005-07-31-whistle-usat_x.htm. [Accessed on 21 November 21, 2012]
Oliver, D. (2003). ‘Whistle-blowing engineer’. Journal of Professional Issues in
Engineering Education and Practice 129, 246–256