Throughout the course of time, whistleblowers have come forward to report misgivings within companies or governments. These people have played an instrumental role in holding companies and leaders accountable for poor decisions they may have made or the illegal activity they have engaged in. The behavior of companies who behave illegally can have an impact on the health and safety of the general public. For someone considering coming forward to report their companies illegal activity, there will likely be a number of questions:
What is a whistleblower?
A whistleblower in the workplace is often an employee who witnesses or is the victim of illegal workplace activity. Coming forward to report sexual harassment, fraud, or an abuse of power, can result in a tumultuous road for a whistleblower. Whistleblowing is the act of reporting any type of wrongdoing being conducted by an organization. Examples of whistleblowing cases include:
- Illegal dumping of toxic waste
- Reports of sexual harassment or workplace discrimination
- Engagement in illegal activity
There are specific laws in place to protect and encourage people to blow the whistle on unethical and illegal behavior. If you are considering coming forward, speaking with an attorney with experience may be able to help map out a course of action.
What are the risks for blowing the whistle?
Coming forward to blow the whistle is an act of bravery. Although it doesn’t always feel that way. Especially considering the ways that the lives of a whistleblower can be upheaved. Extensive suffering and hardship stand to be the impact on whistleblowing. Risks can include:
- Retaliation such as being fired, getting demoted, or being harassed
- Difficulty in obtaining employment
- Hostility from people in the workplace
Whistleblowers face high risks in coming forward making it a primary reason to ensure that you have an attorney by your side who can help in protecting your rights.
What is whistleblower retaliation?
Whistleblowers are highly susceptible to retaliation in the workplace as the result of their actions. Whistleblowers may experience blowback such as:
- Job loss
- Reduction in hours
- Poor treatment
- Blacklisting from the industry
It’s important that you are able to clearly document and keep track of the events that have happened. This provides you with the proof you need when proving that you have been retaliated against in the workplace.
As a whistleblower, do I need an attorney?
If you are considering coming forward to report wrongdoings in the workplace, it’s best to seek the counsel of an experienced attorney. Knowing which steps you should take can be overwhelming and complicated without their guidance to support you. A whistleblower attorney will help you by ensuring that you take action in the appropriate amount of time and that you have the proper documentation to support your case. A whistleblower stands to face potential blowback for coming forward. A lawyer, like a whistleblower retaliation claim lawyer in Washington DC from Eric Siegel Law, can give you peace of mind and confidence when facing so many unknowns.
Have you witnessed or been privy to unethical or illegal behavior on the part of your employer. Whistleblowing can be scary to contend with, especially considering the mistreatment an employee may experience for blowing the whistle. There can be a number of consequences a whistleblower stands to face for coming forward. However, an attorney may be the appropriate step to ensuring that your rights are legally protected throughout the process.