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 those whose reputation get smeared from leaking information, and soon find themselves unable to get a proper employment. If you are a whistle blower or if you are someone who has something to blow the whistle on, then this article is for you. You need to protect yourself, and below are some ways on how you can do so.
Whistleblower laws are in place to protect people who report, oppose or refuse to participate in activities which are against the laws, rules and regulations. Whistleblower laws also protect people who don’t work overtime without pay, or who don’t want to violate environmental laws since they either care for the environment or merely for their own safety. Other people protected by whistleblower laws are those people who report violations to government agencies, to upper management or to unions.
Not all complaints, however, are protected by whistle blower laws. The complaints that you will present should be a clear 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. Sexual harassment complaints are protected by whistleblower laws while discrimination against employees is not.
Reporting your complaint to the wrong person can only hurt your case when seeking protection from retaliation. Be sure to report it 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. It is important to document what you have seen, the exact time and location, and the specific people who were there. Copies of timecards, emails, and records much be ready to support your claims. Even while you are trying to report issues, you should keep on documenting everything. Do not go beyond someone’s head, but respect the chain of command when reporting. Reporting an employer who is violating labor laws to his immediate superior is the proper chain of command to be observed, and not to anybody else.
You documentation is an important evidence, if you have to go to court with the matter.
You need to understand what whistleblowing is and what it is not.