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. 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. Whistleblower laws also protect people who don’t work overtime without pay, or who don’t want to violate environmental laws since they either care for the environment or merely for their own safety. 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. 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 a whistleblower is seeking protection from retaliation, his case can be hurt if the wrongdoing was reported to the wrong person. The appropriate legal authority should be approached for the complaint. 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. 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. Make sure that you can 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 who is violating labor laws to his immediate superior is the proper chain of command to be observed, and not to anybody else.
If the matter goes to court, this documentation can serve as evidence.
Understanding what is and what whistle blowing is not is something that is very important.
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