Important Things that Whistleblowers Should Know
Whistleblowers come in different sorts. Some are praised by the public for exposing some wrongdoing, fraud and corruption, either in government or in the workplace. Some whistleblowers can their names smeared up for leaking information, and they end up losing the battle. 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.
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. 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.
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. 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.
Make sure that there is a valid lawsuit on your hands on the issues you are about to expose. There is an online site where you can learn more about whisteblowing.
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. Make sure that you can support your claims with copies of timecards, emails, and records. Continue to document matters while you are attempting to report the issues. You should respect the chain of command when reporting before going beyond 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 reaches court, you already have valuable evidence in your documentation.
It is important to understand what is and what isn’t whistleblowing.
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