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Hotline Reports and Substantiated Whistleblower Retaliation Claims on the Rise

March 26, 2015

Author: Tiffany Wynn.

An analysis of hotline data by ethics and compliance firm NAVEX Global reveals a marked increase in hotline reports and verified whistleblower retaliation claims in 2014. The 2015 Ethics & Compliance Hotline Benchmark Report, based on data compiled from 2.2 million reports over the past 5 years (including 730,912 in 2014), observes that the volume of 2014 hotline reports represents a 44 percent increase from 2010. Among several other findings, the report also notes a significant increase in substantiated retaliation against whistleblowers. NAVEX reported that historically, 9 to 12 percent of retaliation complaints were substantiated, but the rate more than doubled in 2014, jumping to 27 percent. According to NAVEX, the rising report volume suggests that ethics and compliance programs “are moving in the right direction” and the increase of substantiated retaliation claims is possibly “a result of a more serious approach to managing and investigating these cases.”