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Webcast: Blowing the Whistle on Retaliation

    
 
The Latest Legal Developments and HR’s Role in Compliance

Presenters: Reid Bowman, General Counsel, ELT; Gregory Keating, Shareholder, Littler Mendelson; and Amanda Benedict, Survey Research Analyst, Society for Human Resource Management

September 2011

(Available through Sept. 3, 2012)

Program length: 90 minutes

Program fee:


In 2010, retaliation ranked as the most commonly cited claim filed with the EEOC. That trend is not likely to change in 2011 and beyond.

Recently enacted provisions of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act increases the protection for whistleblowers and raises the penalties employers will pay for retaliating against them.

Even before Dodd-Frank, employers grappled with how to handle retaliation complaints. That's because:

  • Most managers don’t understand the basic components of retaliation.
  • Companies often silo retaliation claims into the compliance department or legal department, without seeking HR's input.

Employees can file a charge of retaliation if they feel they suffered adverse action (demotion, poor job assignments, the “cold shoulder” etc.), because they filed a complaint with their employer, or because they participated in other protected activity, such as an investigation. The original claim doesn’t have to be successful, as long as it was made in good faith.

Recent cases and new laws have put retaliation on the forefront of employment law and corporate ethics risk. HR professionals need to be prepared to empower employees to report complaints and work with managers to ensure that issues are properly handled – with a zero tolerance policy on retaliation. Are you ready?

This webcast will provide HR professionals with an overview of:

  • Anti-retaliation protections.
  • The latest whistleblower protection laws, including heightened FCPA enforcement and how the Dodd-Frank corporate whistleblower program is turning employees into bounty hunters.
  • Recent cases that have changed both the breadth and scope of retaliation.
  • Practical strategies and best practices for HR to mitigate skyrocketing whistleblower and retaliation risk.

The program will also include findings from a recent SHRM poll on employers' policies and practices regarding retaliation.

About the speakers: Reid Bowman is a frequent and popular SHRM webcast presenter. He has more than 25 years of human resources and legal experience which includes designing strategic ethics and compliance programs for multi-state employers, and developing and delivering training on a wide array of employment related topics, including ethics and codes of conduct. Mr. Bowman advises clients across the country regarding strategic risk management and compliance initiatives.

Gregory C. Keating is co-chair of the National Health Care Practice Group at Littler Mendelson. He litigates a wide range of employment disputes but has developed particular expertise representing companies in the defense of retaliation and whistleblowing claims and wage and hour class and collective actions. Mr. Keating also regularly litigates disputes over non-competition agreements and has tried non-competition matters in state and federal courts around the country. He represents management in labor issues, which includes advising clients during union elections, representing clients during unfair labor practice proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board and negotiating collective bargaining agreements. Mr. Keating frequently counsels and trains regarding employment law issues and serves as counsel to a number of prominent independent schools in New England.

Amanda Benedict is a survey research analyst in SHRM's Research Division. She conducted and analyzed results from a SHRM study of how employers handle reports of unethical and illegal behavior in the workplace.

Recertification Credit

Viewing this entire presentation, either as a live event or archived, counts for 1.5 credit hours toward PHR/SPHR recertification from the Human Resource Certification Institute. Note: You are responsible for tracking your participation in this event.

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