Part of the “Quick Peek” Series, exploring the NEW edition of Stephen Kohn‘s Whistleblower’s Handbook.

One mental hurdle that prevents employees who want to blow the whistle from doing so “is a nagging doubt that they are powerless. Why blow the whistle if nothing will get better?” To many, it seems that the downside, including potentially losing one’s careers, outweighs an unclear benefit.  National Whistleblower Center Executive Director addresses this issue in the latest edition of his book, The New Whistleblower’s Handbook (Lyon’s Press, 2017).

Whether you measure success in terms of taxpayer money saved,  lives saved, or individual compensation, whistleblowers are wildly successful. From 1987 to 2016, 70% of the more than $54 billion recovered in civil fraud recoveries resulted from False Claims Act (FCA) cases filed by whistleblowers. “Now that Congress has created four new qui tam laws, for the Internal Revenue Code, the Securities Exchange Act, auto safety, and the Commodity Exchange Act, the massive savings and recoveries obtained under the FCA are being duplicated,” Kohn emphasizes.

In addition to the FCA’s proven success, which is easily quantifiable by tax-payer dollars saved, Kohn underscores “the anecdotal evidence of how whistleblowers have saved lives, held government officials accountable, or accurately warned of disasters … provides additional ample evidence that whistleblowing works.” As a result of the courage of whistleblowers, fraud and corruption are stymied and our world is made safer.

Whistleblowers assist with law enforcement, and large penalties penalize the company in the wrong and return money to the taxpayer.  Additionally, the large fines incentivize companies to be completely honest with their use of taxpayer money and self-comply. “The large rewards grab headlines, advertise the existence of the FCA within the government-contractor community, and encourage an extremely reluctant workforce to come forward and protect taxpayers.”  Other whistleblower laws operate similarly to detect and deter criminal action.

The new edition of The Whistleblower’s Handbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Doing What’s Right and Protecting Yourself was just released (July 2017).  You can grab your copy of this highly acclaimed Whistleblower’s Handbook now by making a tax-exempt donation of $50 or more to the National Whistleblower Center. Your donation will support the NWC’s work to protect the brave individuals that put themselves on the line to protect us all. This new edition is fully updated, with sections on wildlife whistleblowing, combating foreign corruption, and an international anti-corruption toolkit.


Hat-tip to NWC Intern Chase Migas for his work on this blog.