Reviews from Amazon
A Whistleblowers Perspective
By Jeffery A. Conklin
I am a Federal Employee Whistleblower,
I just purchased and read the book "The Whistleblowers Handbook" and I found it a remarkably practical guide that validated many of the conclusions that I have had to make in the (so far) two year process of seeking remedy to my retaliation. I wish I had had this two years ago when I started. It is detailed and technical enough to be useful in a practical way and written in such a way a to be understandable by non-attorneys.
I have had a Whistleblower Case pending as a federal employee over retaliation for the disclosure of laws, rules, and regulations to the agency Inspector General. I wish so much I had had this book when I initiated my complaint.
It was most discouraging (but unfortuantely accurate as I have come to understand it) to see Mr. Kohn describe the federal employees Whistleblower Protection Act as "...generally considered to be one of the weaker whistleblower laws..."
It was most encouraging to go thru Checklist 5 (Proof of Retaliation) and be able to check off most of the indicators their as relevent to my case. The six checklists by themselves are worth the price of the book for any Federal Whistleblower attemtping to advocate for themself Pro Se.
This is a great and practical guide that I wish I had 2 years ago, but that I think will now assist greatly in focusing my activities and help me in understanind how to best advocate for my self as my case progresses.
Required reading in a corrupt corporate world
In a world where corporate corruption runs rampant, and taxpayers are often left with enormous bills as a result, understanding and protection of ethical corporate whistleblowing should be an ever-more-important education and policy issue. This book goes some way in that direction, and one can only imagine its power once more Americans will understand its import.
As the title suggests, the book can serve as a policy manual as well as information necessary for any American who functions in a workplace and wants to both perform his/her civic duty, and PROTECT HIS/HER CAREER, OR MORE LIKELY, THEIR CHANCE TO PREVAIL IN COURT ONCE THEIR CAREER IS PREDICTABLY DAMAGED BY A FRAUDULENT EMPLOYER.
There are many good books about "what happens to whistleblowers" (the books by Glazer (older) and Alford (newer) probably lead the pack), highly visible cases (Glazer, as well as Scammell's "Giant Killers"), what drives whistleblowers (Alford), etc). You can glean from some of those what was happening, what was raised by the fraudulent employer as tactics to discredit the whistleblower, and how some whistleblower cases came down. But in all of those such information is peripheral and indirect. "The Whistleblower's Handbook" is the first book that addresses the most important and practical issue: equipping the whistleblowers with critical legal and procedural information to even the playing field against powerful and unscrupulous employers. There is no doubt in my mind that EVERY whistleblower and potential whistleblower out there will get a better outcome for their case by reading this book. If you can read it before the key actions in the whistleblowing process (raising the illegality issues internally or externally), the benefits will be even more dramatic, as you will understand that deliberation in those steps and assembling necessary documentation are key requirements to success.
There is a simple reality out there: if you raise legitimate issues that engage a real possibility that your company is committing illegal acts, you have an enormous chance to be fired or retaliated against. If the issues are in fact true, the stakes high (monetary value to your company if caught is large), and the company is already deep into the practices, your firing becomes a guarantee: the company has to choose between paying for its illegal acts with certainty (if you are allowed to raise your concerns to the end and a true investigation occurs), or firing you and trying to discredit you as much as possible, and take its chances that it will get away with it.
So the sooner you have an attorney, the better. Here the book makes an essential point: you will be crushed without competent legal help. Unless you are quite wealthy, you will also be crushed if you can't secure contingency attorney representation (the corporate malefactor will simply outspend you into the ground in the legal process). But, given the incredible amounts of fraud and corruption in American companies at the moment, such attorneys are literally swamped with potential cases. How do you secure their representation? By coming to them with solid evidence, not just a story. This is particularly true if you are not a highly paid individual. From the attorney's perspective, there are two ways to get paid: as a percentage of your award, and by the court awarding attorney's fees. Since your award is virtually always driven by what it would cost the employer to "make you whole" on lost pay, benefits, etc, if your compensation is not quite high, your award will not be either (unless you can prove emotional damages, physical harm, etc, ie damages in addition to your loss of income). So at that point the attorney, when weighing their own economic decision, knows that the percentage of your award (or settlement from the company) may not pay them for their work, and of course that award is highly uncertain in any litigation. Thus making a case that they would have a very high chance to win and get court-awarded attorneys fees becomes the only way to get them to take your case. The book gives an excellent review of do's and don'ts in terms of assembling information, and teaches you how to get it while you still can (i.e. before the employer realizes they should shut down all your access, transfer you away from the fraud, etc).
I am not going to give a compendium of the book here (buy it, the author well deserves the royalties for the immense service the book will do to our society). But I will say this: I am fortunate to have a bevy of attorneys, a lot of evidence, and education (including some litigation training) that help me have a very strong case. Even with all these advantages, I would have benefited tremendously from reading this book before undertaking the actions to bring fraud to light. I don't think there's anyone (including employment attorneys themselves) who won't find something in this book to further their chances to be effective in this type of effort/case.
Finally, remember that in doing the whistleblowing "right" you don't only help your own (and your family's) chance to survive/prevail over the hardships the employer will certainly throw your way. It also may be critical to effectively making the fraud come to light and ultimately stop. Whoever the fraud is hurting (typically the government and or the taxpayers, or innocent lives endangered by safety issues, or consumers gouged by corporate greed), needs YOU. They need you healthy, conscious of the full scope of the challenges ahead of you, and able to withstand what will come your way, so that you can assist THEM as a witness, effective whistleblower, etc. So protect yourself and your family. Learn and understand what is in this book.
The best investment a would-be truth-teller can make
You've heard the saying: honesty pays. It may or may not be true depending on who you are, where you work, and to whom you report wrongdoing. Stephen Kohn's book is exactly as it's marketed: a layperson's guide to blowing the whistle. As Kohn -- a whistleblower's attorney with decades of experience -- reveals, there are many shades of whistleblower laws and statutes, some effective and many not. While I advocate for doing the right thing, I do so only after asking you to read through this guide so that you won't personally have to pay the price for society's well-being. The book is well-arranged and easy to read. Historians will also find information on how these laws came to be, and how they've changed over the years.
Necessary Resource for Workplace Leaders
By LiteBlue Gator
Regardless of your occupation this handy reference is a "must have publication" for your professional development library.
I first saw the author on C-SPAN in 2013, and was very interested in what Mr. Kohn had to say on the subject as one of the leading whistleblower Attorneys in the United States.
The book definitely is a helpful step-by-step guide to doing "the right thing," and protecting yourself. I love the fact that back in the day James Madison stood before the First Congress of the USA and proposed that the Constitution be amended to include a Bill of Rights. His words were clear and the First Amendment was unmistakable. "The people shall not be deprived or abridged of their right to speak, to write, or to publish their sentiments; and freedom of the press, as one of the great bulwarks of liberty, shall be inviolable. The people shall not be restrained from peaceably assembling and consulting for their common good; nor from applying to the Legislature by petitions, or remonstrates, for redress of their grievances."
Read this handbook to learn about:
The Dodd-Frank Act
The Sarbanes-Oxlley Act
The False Claims Act
Internal Revenue Code
This reference is essential reading for anyone considering to blow the whistle so that you Find the Best Federal law. As Mr. Kohn points out "Any whistleblower law worthy of consideration must, at a minimum, reasonably define protected activity, cover your industry, ensure due process procedures, and permit you to obtain a complete "Make Whole" remedy, including reinstatement to your job, back pay, and reasonable damages.
Learn the working definitions of "good faith," and "keeping book." Acknowledge the truth about Hotlines, why for employers the ostrich approach does not work, and considerations for one-party taping.
The book is loaded with information as a reference for workplace leaders to stew about "skunks at the picnic" from the shop-floor level to the highest levels of office in the land. Remember, it's not about memorizing all the information you will read, it's about knowing where to find the answers. It will be hard without this book.
Holy Bible in one hand and Mr. Kohn's Whistleblower Handbook in the other, my wife crushed a powerful corporation
By Jimi G
Highly recommend “The Whistleblower Handbook” by Stephen Kohn. This is an excellent reference for lawyers and lay persons alike. If you work for a publicly traded company and you witness wrongdoing and report it to authorities, your employer cannot retaliate against you. That is what happened to my wife when she worked for a very powerful corporation. With the Holy Bible in one hand and Mr. Kohn's Whistleblower Handbook in the other, my wife filed a Whistleblower complaint against her employer and represented herself in Court; she secured a judgment of liability against her employer following a twelve (12) day hearing, including extensive pre- and post-hearing briefs. She also represented herself throughout the appeal process, where her judgment was affirmed and additional damages were awarded. My wife accomplished this even though she was opposed by an army of resources from the mega law firm DLA Piper, including DLA partners, associates, paralegals and clerks, all of whom were paid with shareholder resources. In his Handbook, Mr. Kohn lays out the entire process that a Whistleblower needs to follow from the initial Complaint through appeal(s) and summarizes the categories of retaliation and the types of proof required to demonstrate discrimination. We are grateful to Mr. Kohn for making this information available in such a concise and easy to read format. We had the honor to personally meet Mr. Kohn recently, and he is a first-class lawyer and he is dedicated to helping level the field between Whistleblowers and powerful corporations.
Get this while you are still working with the employer, be discrete, this book is great.
By J M T
- Read this while working for the employer for best results (before you are gone). Therefore recommend it to friends etc who experience ANY corruption or bad management from the employer. Also good against large scale tax cheats.
- Be discrete, tell no one unless it serves your purpose (the book will tell you how). Employer "hot lines" & human relations departments are most often the enemy; book lets you know how to tell. You need to get your information (detailed) together & file for awards quickly; first-come first-serve many times, but varies somewhat.
- Have the book fully read & noted, then contact a good labor attorney, many may not know as much as you do once you have read this book. You can contact the book's author if you like.
- Look especially for QUI TAM application in laws (where you can get a potentially very large award; also likely fees paid, be anonymous, & have the government actually have its own attorneys bring the case rather than you; you'll still want your own attorney for correctly filing paperwork etc).
- Many good real world examples of many different situations. You are likely to get a great number of situations like yours in more than one way.
- You can use the check lists to see what is allowed in evidence collection laws (regardless as to what the employee policy statements say). Also state laws, like at-will employment, can be over come via federal laws or via other state laws. Mandatory arbitration & employer disclosure rules can be often overcome also. Watch out how the employer might monitor your email & phone etc though you have protections even against the employer in some ways in those areas too. Don't take "hush money", the book tells you why & even how to sometimes undo something like this if you already did it (sometimes the law in your favor nullifies it).
- You'll learn what kind of retaliation & response the employer might do & how to prepare to defeat it, & even turn it against the employer.
- Check lists in the book cover DISCOVERY rights you have to get information, what to look for etc.
- Check lists for proving MOTIVE and PRETEXT, definitions etc. Disparate treatment, contributing factors, employer animus (anger toward you) etc.
- Check lists on all types of compensation you can be owed & how to get them.
- Check lists on all the federal & state laws as of publication, which apply to you, how & why, in different fields of employment (health, financials, consumer, environmental, transportation, military, etc).
- Check lists on the different kinds of actions by the employer or management that are illegal & actionable, for any of the employment areas, or specifically for one area or another.
By Genga Ramamoorthy
A comprehensive account of the complicated landscape of Whistleblower law is condensed into a phenomenal book that all should read. The book presents the information in such a way that one does not need a legal background to understand the material.
The material is outlined to help you identify fraud and potential criminal activity. More importantly, you will gain the knowledge on how to properly protect yourself or your loved ones in the event that such wrongdoing is exposed. This book is a must-read for anyone who is interested in pursuing truth, justice, and honesty.
By Kristine L. Cerone
If you are interested in doing the right thing this book will tell you why you should and how to do it. Highly recommended for every honest Amercian.
The Whistleblower's Handbook is an Eye-Opener
By Paul Lyons
The Whistleblower's Handbook is a remarkable book. The author Stephen Kohn has managed to take the complex field of whistleblower law and create a thorough review of all the rights and remedies available to whistleblowers of all types. He even goes so far as to analyze laws from state to state. Yet, despite how comprehensive and thorough the book is, Mr. Kohn manages to keep the text very readable and always returns to a practical focus.
One section that caught my particular interest covered laws which offer protection for foreign citizens who report misconduct and corruption to the United States government. Before reading this book, I had no idea that such programs would even be possible, let alone that they actually exist and are well used. To say the least, the book is an eye-opener.
Frankly, I don't think I can recommend this book highly enough, not only does it manage to do a comprehensive review of whistleblower law, it does what few other books-on-law-written-for-laymen manage to achieve and keeps the text accessible. It's evident that this is one of the best books on law out there, period; and I do not think there is any comparable book written for whistleblowers at all.
In sum, if you're thinking of blowing the whistle, buy this book and get a lawyer who knows these laws well. If you're working with a lawyer who doesn't know whistleblower law all that well, buy them a copy too.
By Cathy Loughlin
Lots of good info and easy read.
Know Your Rights
This book is a must-read if you're considering blowing the whistle. Stephen Kohn addresses many issues a whistleblower may encounter on his or her journey towards truth and justice.
Even if you are not a prospective whistleblower you should still add this book to your reading list. It will give you knowledge that will help you recognize fraud or misconduct within your workplace. The book then goes a step further and gives you the tools necessary to protect yourself, should you decide to blow the whistle.
Know your rights and stop living in ignorance. Read this book.
Don't Kill the Messenger
By Donald R. Soeken
This is a great book and a good companion book would be "Don't Kill the Messenger!" by Don Soeken with real cases of whistleblowing. One of the cases featured in the Soeken book is Fred Whitehurst (chapter 4) whose attorneys were from Stephen Kohn's law firm. They did everything right for the case which led to a major settlement for Dr Whitehurst. Read both books to see how Stephen Kohn won a case using his powerful skills as a lawyer. [ASIN:1492898090 Don't Kill the Messenger!: How America's Valiant Whistleblowers Risk Everything in Order to Speak Out Against Waste, Fraud and Abuse in Business and Government] I am an expert witness for whistleblower cases and the book shows how I helped them with my professional opinion testimony.
Arm Yourself With This One
By Amazon Customer
This book is a valuable tool for everyone in the workplace. Understanding the risks associated with various job functions and preparing ones self for defending moral and legal decisions is not only the personal duty of management, but is the responsibility of everyone in the workplace. Kohn breaks down the legalese and provides a clear road map of rights and responsibilities. This is a great desktop companion.
Blow the Whistle Right
By LiteBlue Gator
Awesome read! You will learn how, and who to blow the whistle too if you want to be effective. This book gives a great history on whistleblowing and why it is so important in this country. Depending on the issue, sometimes whisteblowers become instant millionaires as a result of the money recouped by the government. This book teaches you how to document well! Must read for civic, community, labor, and corporate leaders. Keep it in your professional development library when you are done as a handy reference.
Very informative and helpful. gives a clear and easily understandable reference to a whistleblowers case, would recommend to anyone in the Nursing feild as a pre read before you need to file a whistleblowers report
People need to read this book to understand the importance of this orgamization and the courageous people, ready to loose everything in the name of truth , and sacrifice they are making as whistleblowers around the nation.fighting against corruption and lies
By J. Maureen
I know, this book sounds completely boring. I only checked it out at the library because one of my friends recommended it. However, and I can't believe I'm saying this, The Whistleblower's Handbook is actually a very interesting and insightful read. You don't have to be a lawyer to understand it, and you don't have to be interested in whistleblowing to learn something from it. If you've ever participated in the business world and have experienced or know someone who has experienced fraud, you need to read this book. If you haven't, you should still read this book because it is just an enjoyable read.
Everything you need to know before blowing the whistle!
By Kel Y
Stephen Kohn's The Whistleblower's Handbook is the best guide for whistleblowers. It is easy to follow and very useful for any whistleblower whether he is in the private sector or pubic sector. Kohn thoroughly goes over 21 Rules that are crucial for the whistleblowers and provides 7 Checklists where he explains important laws into easy to understand English. This book is excellent for many ordinary Americans do not have extensive knowledge of the law and the process of blowing the whistle.
If you are considering blowing the whistle, you MUST read the book before you make any hasty decision because there are so much for you to consider including different laws, time limitation and more.
I won't say more because you have to read it yourself and find out what you need. :)
The whole package is right here
Stephen Kohn manages to break down the complicated morass known as whistleblowing. He does it in a style that is understandable, concise and right on target. Whistleblowing is not for the faint hearted, but the author gives the road map on how to survive.
See the rest of the Amazon.com Reviews here.