How Whistleblowers can Protect Themselves
Whistleblowers come in different sorts. There are whistleblowers who come out to expose wrongdoing, fraud, and corruption either in their own workplace or in positions of government, and are considered as heroes by many. 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. Are you a whistle blower, or are you planning of becoming a whistle blower soon? Whistleblowers need protection, and there are some ways that you can do so which are given below.
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. Other people protected by whistleblower laws are those people who report violations to government agencies, to upper management or to unions.
However, whistleblower laws are not applicable for all types of complaints. Make sure that your complaints clearly violates the law or else there will be no protection for it under the law. You cannot use the whistleblower law protection if you refuse to do something because you just don’t want to do it. Sexual harassment complaints are protected by whistleblower laws while discrimination against employees is not.
If a whistleblower is seeking protection from retaliation, his case can be hurt if the wrongdoing was reported to the wrong person. Make sure that you report the case to the appropriate legal authority. And if you wait for a long time before you come out and blow the whistle, your ability to sue can be affected by the statute of limitations, if it is already reached.
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. Reporting an employer to his manager first, if he is violating labor laws is the proper chain of command.
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.