Are Whistleblower Investigations Being Put on the Back Burner?
In 2015, companies took an average of 46 calendar days to close whistleblower cases, up from 39 in 2014 and 32 in 2011, according to NAVEX Global’s 2016 Ethics & Compliance Hotline Benchmark Report. This trend is significant to organizations overseen by the SEC – they have limited time to complete internal investigations under SEC whistleblower provisions – but outside of this group, the increasing time to close cases threatens to undermine employees’ confidence in their company.
In addition, the report found that the substantiation rate of retaliation reports more than doubled over the prior year, but the total number of reports of retaliation that organizations are capturing is low – less than one percent of all reports. But when employees take an issue to an outside entity, retaliation is still the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s most frequently file charge of discrimination – accounting for 45 percent of all private sector files charged.