A Guide to Whistleblower Protection
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 those whose reputation get smeared from leaking information, and soon find themselves unable to get a proper employment. Perhaps you are a whistleblower, or perhaps you are thinking of blowing the whistle on someone or something. You need to protect yourself, and below are some ways on how you can do so.
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. 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. If the complaint is sexual harassment, then this is covered by whistleblower laws, but discrimination against a class of employees is not covered by these laws.
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. When the statute of limitations is already reached, you ability to sue is no longer possible, and this happens if you wait for a long time before coming out in the open with your complaints.
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.
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. Copies of timecards, emails, and records much be ready to support your claims. Even while you are trying to report issues, you should keep on documenting everything. Try to report them within the chain of command before going over someone’s head. Reporting an employer who is violating labor laws to his immediate superior is the proper chain of command to be observed, and not to anybody else.
You documentation is an important evidence, if you have to go to court with the matter.
You need to understand what whistleblowing is and what it is not.