Jason Zuckerman, an attorney who represents whistleblowers, says that the financial reforms provide a strong incentive for employers to encourage voluntary internal disclosures of securities law violations.
In the latest newsletter of the ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law, Zuckerman wrote:
The whistleblower rewards provisions of Dodd-Frank give employees a strong incentive to report securities law violations directly to the SEC, rather than disclosing violations internally. Accordingly, companies will need to establish effective internal reporting mechanisms that respond appropriately to whistleblower disclosures. To ensure that employees perceive internal reporting mechanisms as legitimate (rather than as “window-dressing” intended to protect upper management), employers must conduct prompt and thorough investigations and keep the whistleblower in the loop about corrective actions. If whistleblowers believe that their employers are not taking their concerns seriously, they will likely report their concerns directly to the SEC. Companies should consider establishing organizational ombuds programs to offer independent, impartial, and confidential assistance to employees who seek to correct unlawful conduct. [Emphasis added.]
Zuckerman has previously endorsed Ombuds as an effective complement to whistleblower programs. (ABA Section on Labor and Employment Law Flash; The Employment Law Group.)