How Whistleblowers can Protect Themselves
Whistleblowers come in different sorts. There are some who expose something that people do wrong, fraud, and corruption, and thus to the public, they become our heroes. Some whistleblowers can their names smeared up for leaking information, and they end up losing the battle. Are you a whistle blower, or are you planning of becoming a whistle blower soon? You need to protect yourself, and below are some ways on how you can do so.
There are whistleblower laws that protect people who report, oppose, or refuse to engage in illegal activities – the violation of laws, rules, or regulations. People who refuse to work overtime without pay, or refuse to break environmental laws are also protected by whistleblower laws. These laws also protect people who report violations to government agencies, to the upper management, or to unions.
There are some types of complaints that are not under the protection of whistle blower laws. Make sure that your complaints clearly violates the law or else there will be no protection for it under the law. If you are refusing to do something simply for personal reasons then this cannot be protected by the whistleblower laws. Sexual harassment complaints are protected by whistleblower laws while discrimination against employees is not.
If you report the wrongdoing to the wrong persons, then it can hurt your case when you are seeking protection from retaliation. Make sure that you report the case 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. You can learn about whistle blowing on certain sites online.
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. You need to support your claims with copies of timecards, emails, and records. As you attempt to report issues, continue to document matters. 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.
Understanding what is and what whistle blowing is not is something that is very important.