Important Things that Whistleblowers Should Know
There are many different kinds of whistleblowers. There are some who expose something that people do wrong, fraud, and corruption, and thus to the public, they become our heroes. 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. Here are some ways that whistle blowers can protect themselves.
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. These laws protect people who refuse to work overtime without pay, or refuse to violate environmental laws either because they care for the environment or they care for their personal safety. These laws also protect people who report violations to government agencies, to the upper management, or to unions.
However, whistleblower laws are not applicable for all types of complaints. 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. Whistleblower laws cover sexual harassment complaints, but they do not cover discrimination against a class of job applicants or employees.
If you report the wrongdoing to the wrong persons, then it can hurt your case when you are 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.
Make sure that there is a valid lawsuit on your hands on the issues you are about to expose. You can learn about whistle blowing on certain sites online.
It is important to make documentation of what you have done from the start. Document what you have seen, the time and the place it happened, and the specific people who were involved. You need to support your claims with copies of timecards, emails, and records. As you attempt to report issues, continue to document matters. Try to report them within the chain of command before going over someone’s head. Reporting an employer to his manager first, if he is violating labor laws is the proper chain of command.
If the matter goes to court, this documentation can serve as evidence.
It is important to understand what is and what isn’t whistleblowing.