Firms Warned Over Whistleblower Programs

Compliance Intelligence
March 22, 2012

Jordan A. Thomas warns inexperienced whistleblower programs about issues they may face

A lack of thorough communication and a failure to address possible retaliation are two problems that impede a firm's ability to effectively deal with whistleblower issues, Jordan Thomas, partner with Labaton Sucharow, has warned industry professionals.

"There are organizations that receive tips regarding potential problems within their organization and they never go back to the individual and tell them that they're actually working the issue, that they brought in outside counsel or they took appropriate action," said Thomas, who chairs his firm's whistleblower representation practice and is a former assistant chief litigation counsel with the Securities and Exchange Commission's Division of Enforcement. "Those are cases where people are going to go outside now where they wouldn't have in the past."

Employees also need to know they are going to be protected against retaliation, Thomas told attendees during a March 20 panel discussion held by The Alliance of Alternative Asset Professionals. "It would be in your interest to follow up with people who report and say, 'How are things going? Have there been any problems?'"