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A Guide to Whistleblower Protection
There are many different kinds of whistleblowers. 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. Are you a whistle blower, or are you planning of becoming a whistle blower soon? Whistleblowers need protection, and there are some ways that you can do so which are given below.
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. These laws also protect people who report violations to government agencies, to the upper management, or to unions.
However, whistleblower laws are not applicable for all types of complaints. 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.
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.
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. Make sure that you can support your claims with copies of timecards, emails, and records. Continue to document matters while you are attempting to report the issues. 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 goes to court, this documentation can serve as evidence.
You need to understand what whistleblowing is and what it is not.