Richard Fincher is a full-time mediator and arbitrator of workplace disputes. He serves on the commercial mediation, employment arbitration, and mass claims panels of the American Arbitration Association and has arbitrated over 1,000 matters over the course of his career. A former national vice president at the Association for Conflict Resolution, Mr. Fincher teaches at the Scheinman Institute for Conflict Resolution at Cornell University. He can be reached at 602.953.5322 or by e-mail at rdf@ workplaceresolutions.com.
An overview of whistleblower laws—including protections from employer retaliation under federal environmental and nuclear statutes, the False Claims Act, and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act—and the unique elements of mediating these claims.
In 2002, three highly visible whistleblowers became Time Magazine’s “People of the Year.”1 They were Sherron Watkins of Enron, Cynthia Cooper of WorldCom, and FBI Special Agent Coleen Rowley. Each was a direct participant in exposing scandals in her organization. Their media status— along with the recent Sarbanes-Oxley statute—reshaped the American view of whistleblowers and encouraged more employees to come forward when employers retaliate against them.