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. 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.
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 are refusing to do something simply for personal reasons then this cannot be protected by the whistleblower laws. Whistleblower laws cover sexual harassment complaints, but they do not cover discrimination against a class of job applicants or employees.
Reporting your complaint to the wrong person can only hurt your case when seeking protection from retaliation. 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.
Whistleblowers should check first whether there is a valid lawsuit on your hands on the issues you are about to expose. There is a site on the internet which deals with whistleblowers and other relevant matters.
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. You need to support your claims with copies of timecards, emails, and records. Continue to document matters while you are attempting to report the issues. Try to report them within the chain of command before going over 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 reaches court, you already have valuable evidence in your documentation.
You need to understand what whistleblowing is and what it is not.