News For This Month: Lawyers

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 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. You need to protect yourself, and below are some ways on how you can do so.

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. Like, you need to believe that what you are reporting is really illegal and a 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. 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. The appropriate legal authority should be approached for the complaint. 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.

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.

It is important to make documentation of what you have done from the start. It is important to document what you have seen, the exact time and location, and the specific people who were there. Copies of timecards, emails, and records much be ready to support your claims. 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.

You documentation is an important evidence, if you have to go to court with the matter.

Understanding what is and what whistle blowing is not is something that is very important.