From the earliest days of school, there is a stigma against the “tattletale,” the kid who tells the teacher when someone in class is misbehaving, for example. In the adult world, that stigma translates to retaliation against whistleblowers. According to a study by the Ethics Resource Center, 24 percent of people who internally report wrongdoing feel they have faced retaliation, and this can be a huge factor at play when workers are trying to decide whether or not to blow the whistle on inappropriate activity.
Thats part of the reason why the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 enabled the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to create a whistleblower program, so it could be more codified. The program not only provides incentives (or, as some say, bounties) to whistleblowers, but it enables the SEC to protect those whistleblowers against retaliation.