A Guide to Whistleblower Protection
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 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.
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. If a person reports violation to government agencies, to the upper management, or to unions, he can also get protection from whistleblower laws.
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. You cannot use the whistleblower law protection if you refuse to do something because you just don’t want to do it. Whistleblower laws cover sexual harassment complaints, but they do not cover discrimination against a class of job applicants or employees.
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.
if you are going to expose some important issues, make sure that there is a law that is violated and that there is a valid lawsuit on your hands. There is an online site where you can learn more about whisteblowing.
Make sure that you document everything that you have done from the beginning. 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. Copies of timecards, emails, and records much be ready to support your claims. As you attempt to report issues, continue to document matters. 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 goes to court, this documentation can serve as evidence.
It is important to understand what is and what isn’t whistleblowing.