When a crime is being committed, it can leave an individual in a difficult situation. Witnessing an illegal, unethical, violation of company policy, corruption, and any other type of situation that is wrong leaves an individual deciding whether they should report what they have seen.
An individual has the option to be a whistleblower but will find out the road is difficult if they’re not protected by legal representation. An individual has a variety of people they can contact without an attorney like the media, government, law enforcement, or anyone with an interest in the wrongdoing. The problem comes when the whistleblower faces retaliation and reprisal from those who are accused of the actions.
Being Fired From A Job
When an individual blows the whistle on their employer or someone who works for the employer, they face the possibility of being fired from their job. This happens a lot to unsuspecting individuals who don’t have the whistleblower information they need. Another thing a whistleblower faces is civil or criminal charges. A government agency or private sector employer will do everything possible to protect themselves even if the employee has always been reputable. They will make things up about the whistleblower and stretch the truth about a variety of situations to paint the whistleblower in a negative light.
Laws That Grant A Whistleblower Protection
Although there are many laws that protect whistleblowers, they will require legal protection from an experienced attorney. Stipulation can cloud the protection a whistleblower is entitled to by the agency who was accused of the wrongdoing. Some government agencies view whistleblowing as a form of civil disobedience.
After the whistleblower has filed a claim, an employer might monitor the employee’s use of the computer, telephone calls, and interaction with other coworkers. Anything the employee does will be used against them as part of the proceedings. An employee must be a model employee after a complaint has been filed. Being a whistleblower can be a lonely time for the individual even when they’re right.
If You See Something Say Something
When an individual sees wrongdoing in another company, agency, or person, they should report the wrongdoing. Failing to notify authorities about the wrongdoing could leave them vulnerable to criminal charges for not reporting it. Whistleblowers play an important role in the abuse of government operations. The Office of Inspector General in a state will investigate wrongdoing in the government. They also have a statutory obligation to maintain a complainants’ confidentiality.
The Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act
In 2012 The Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act was put into law. The law strengthened protections for federal employees who disclose waste, fraud, or abuse. This law added further protection to an individual. Even if the information is considered classified information, they should still report the abuse, waste, or fraud to the appropriate agency. An individual doesn’t have to be a current employee to be a whistleblower and enjoy the protection of being a whistleblower.
Waste, fraud, and abuse happen every day in public and private sector agencies. Waste can cause taxpayers and companies thousands of dollars until it is stopped. Being righteous will allow and individual to have a clear conscience and stop the waste, abuse, and fraud they have witnessed. With proper legal protection, a whistleblower can stop it.