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Mediating with Whistleblowers Who Have Suffered Retaliation

Winston Churchill once said, “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak. Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” Whistleblowers take it upon themselves to stand up and speak when they believe something is wrong. Unfortunately, they are rewarded all too frequently by aggressive retaliation from their superiors. Remember, however, that companies — especially large ones — are not monolithic. They are made up of individuals. The fact that one manager or even one department seems corrupt and willing to lash out against those who would expose them does not mean the entire company is beyond reason.

Mediation is often overlooked in whistleblower retaliation cases because of the presumption that a company that has already acted against an employee whistleblower can never really be trusted. However, when misconduct or retaliation was the work of a rogue manager or department, the company as a whole, while still legally liable, may not actually be complicit, want to see justice done and want to clear its name in the process. In fact, federal agencies such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) enthusiastically encourage the use of mediation and other alternative dispute resolution in resolving whistleblower cases. Using mediation provides a number of benefits to whistleblower and employer alike:

  • Mediation is less expensive and less time-consuming than traditional litigation.
  • Mediation exposes the company to much less publicity than traditional litigation.
  • For both parties, mediation is more likely to mend fences and make it possible for the employee to stay with the company, whereas traditional litigation is more likely to bring about an irretrievable breakdown of the relationship.

Mediating whistleblower retaliation cases is still a delicate matter. Furthermore, it may not be appropriate in many circumstances. Regardless of the course of action a whistleblower decides to take, a knowledgeable Texas whistleblower attorney can provide essential advice for any worker who has experienced retaliation for calling out institutional corruption or misconduct.

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In his new book, "Standing Up to China: How a Whistleblower Risked Everything for His Country," former client & Author, Ashley Yablon, quotes Attorney Steve Kardell about Whistelblower Law.
  • "Steve Kardell was terrific in representing me in some very adversarial discussions with Citigroup and also later represented me in my testimony before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission."  -Richard Bowen, Citigroup Whistleblower

  • "Incredible knowledge of employee related concerns and equally brilliant knowledge of health care regulations, standards of practice. I would recommend this firm to anyone."  -V.B.

  • "Reaching out to Steve Kardell was the best decision I made. His ability to provide immediate insight and direction was very powerful, and a huge relief during a very stressful time period. For anyone struggling with a whistleblower situation, I would highly recommend at least speaking with Steve. After a 10 minute call with him, I had a better understanding of what I was dealing with. Even better, he gave me some immediate hope. In the end Steve did a better job than I thought was possible. Steve was able to get in contact with people in my organization, that I didn’t have access to. Because of his years of experience, he already has contacts in many organizations in Dallas. The entire situation was handled peacefully. I was impressed by his ability to “keep the peace”–rather than creating a battle with the organization. The reason I didn’t reach out to a lawyer initially, was because I thought it would mean an immediate end to any hope of a positive relationship with the company. Steve was able to address my concerns, and in the end I was able to continue to work for them."  -KS

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