Important Things that Whistleblowers Should Know
There are many different kinds of whistleblowers. Some are praised by the public for exposing some wrongdoing, fraud and corruption, either in government or in the workplace. There are also those who leak out information, but the result is that they get a bad name for themselves that no one wants to take them in for employment. Perhaps you are a whistleblower, or perhaps you are thinking of blowing the whistle on someone or something. Here are some ways that whistle blowers can protect themselves.
If a person reports, opposes, or refused to engage in the violation of laws, rules, or regulations, there are whistleblower laws that protect them. People who refuse to work overtime without pay, or refuse to break environmental laws are also protected by whistleblower laws. These laws also protect people who report violations to government agencies, to the upper management, or to unions.
There are some types of complaints that are not under the protection of whistle blower laws. Like, you need to believe that what you are reporting is really illegal and a violation of laws or rules. If you refuse to do something simply because you don’t want to do them, you cannot use these whistleblower laws to protect yourself. Whistleblower laws cover sexual harassment complaints, but they do not cover discrimination against a class of job applicants or employees.
Reporting your complaint to the wrong person can only hurt your case when seeking protection from retaliation. Make sure that you report the case to the appropriate legal authority. Taking time to come out with your complaints can be greatly affected if the statute of limitations has already been reached, and by this time you can no longer sue the offenders.
Whistleblowers should check first whether there is a valid lawsuit on your hands on the issues you are about to expose. There is a site on the internet which deals with whistleblowers and other relevant matters.
Documentation of what you have done from the start is very important. You will need to document that which you have witnesses, the time and place that it has happened, and the people who were involved in the event. You need to support your claims with copies of timecards, emails, and records. Continue to document matters while you are attempting to report the issues. Do not go beyond someone’s head, but respect the chain of command when reporting. The proper chain of command in a company is to report you employer who is violating labor laws to his immediate superior.
If the matter reaches court, you already have valuable evidence in your documentation.
You need to understand what whistleblowing is and what it is not.