Korean TV Program Explores How to Improve Whistleblower Protections
Leading U.S. whistleblower attorney explains the importance of laws that allow whistleblowers to remain anonymous.
On June 6, South Korean Educational Broadcasting System (EBS) aired a segment on its popular program, Documentary Insight, that focused on how to improve whistleblower protection laws in South Korea. Leading U.S. whistleblower attorney, Stephen M. Kohn, a founding partner of Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto, was featured in this documentary.
Documentary Insight related stories of Korean whistleblowers who have suffered retaliation and lost their jobs after blowing the whistle on fraud and misconduct. In South Korea, people often consider whistleblowers as traitors without loyalty. This social perception makes it challenging to ensure whistleblower are protected from workplace retaliation. Thus, many people do not feel safe to come forward with information as they can put their entire career at risk. Kohn, who also serves as the Chairman of the Board at the National Whistleblower Center, was asked what could be done to enhance whistleblower protection laws in South Korea.
Kohn explained that laws protect the confidentiality of whistleblowers, incentivize employees to report frauds, and reward those whose information results in successful prosecutions. He stated that laws that reward whistleblowers who give the government quality information, that results in wrongdoers being held accountable, will encourage more whistleblowers will come forward.
The program discussed the success of U.S. whistleblower incentive laws as a tool to detect fraud and protect whistleblowers from retaliation.
Mr. Kohn also emphasized the importance of remaining anonymous and confidential stating, “If your boss doesn’t know who you are, they can’t fire you. Remaining anonymous and confidential is the best protection whistleblowers have.”
The documentary can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-LMFdJU6mGI&feature=youtu.be.