An anti-retaliation policy helps businesses achieve a more ethical, safe and productive workplace. Sadly, retaliation is still far too common after a whistleblower comes forward, but it doesn’t have to stay that way.
It’s beneficial for businesses to put an end to retaliation. Having a policy that outlines what retaliation is, how to report it and how it’s handled reduces the chances that anyone retaliates after an ethical incident is reported.
Retaliation Is Against The Law
Whistleblowers are allowed to come forward when they have concerns. However, retaliation often ends up forcing them to quit and can result in long-term side effects. The problem has become so prevalent that the government had to create whistleblower protection laws that make retaliation illegal. In fact, OSHA had to step in to notify some employers that whistleblowers who were fired in retaliation had to not only be re-hired, but given back pay along with attorney fees. If your business is found retaliating against employees just for reporting ethical problems, you could face costly lawsuits and fines. OSHA actually makes it easier to implement an anti-retaliation policy in your own company with a detailed set of recommended practicies.
Create A Safe Working Environment
Retaliation comes in many forms, from harassment to being fired for no reason. Employees who are already dealing with ethical dilemmas already deal with anxiety and stress. If they know the business doesn’t have an anti-retaliation policy in place, they fear they won’t be protected if they speak up. This makes them afraid to do anything at work, including working effectively with co-workers.
With a policy that is enforced in place, you create a safer working environment. Whistleblowers are much more likely to report issues, which creates a more ethical workplace, and they don’t have to fear retaliation since they know the business has their back.
Finding great employees isn’t easy. In fact, it just seems to get harder every year. A business that allows retaliation and doesn’t do anything to fix ethics problems experiences much higher turnover rates. Employees would rather work for a company that pays less and has fewer benefits than deal with a highly toxic environment that doesn’t protect or value its employees.
To reduce turnover and keep great employees, you need an anti-retaliation policy. This shows your support for the well-being of your employees. Think of it as an added benefit along with simply doing the right thing to create a more ethical company.
Issues from within your company can easily spill out. All it takes is one major incident to become public to hurt your company’s reputation. Many people today not only want to work for ethical companies, but buy from ethical companies. If you treat your employees poorly by retaliating against them simply for doing what’s right, it can hurt your business’s profits along with reducing the chance of hiring great employees in the future. Whistleblowers who’ve lost their jobs due to retaliation usually aren’t afraid to speak up about what’s happened.
Implementing an anti-retaliation policy helps your business and employees. It’s easy to do and the benefits are well worth it.