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Important Questions for Potential Whistleblowers to Consider

Blowing the whistle when you discover wrongdoing within your business or organization could create a great deal of turbulence in both your personal and professional life. Therefore, it’s important to consider all the possible consequences and outcomes before you decide to act.

The following are a few questions you should ask yourself before serving as a whistleblower:

Are you prepared to lose your job? Your company might not take your blowing the whistle very well, especially if the misconduct is serious and could result in significant penalties. There is a chance you will lose your job or be subject to other forms of retaliation. Keep in mind that there are federal protections in place for whistleblowers. However, you could be forced to go through some major career turbulence before those protections kick in.
Do you have evidence? If you are fired after reporting the wrongdoing, it’s important to keep a paper trail so you can prove you were terminated specifically because of your whistleblowing — rather than for a performance-related issue. Save any documents or emails that show employer responses to your actions, and keep track of all positive performance reviews.
Are you prepared for publicity? In higher-profile whistleblower cases, there’s a decent chance the whistleblower will become the subject of publicity and attention. In this situation, expect reporters to come asking for comments and for potential new employers to ask about your whistleblowing activity when interviewing you.
Have you reported the issue internally? Before you report any wrongdoing to the government, it’s important to follow the internal reporting structure, especially if you are an in-house lawyer who investigates these types of compliance issues. For these attorneys, reporting outside the company first could constitute a violation of legal privilege.

To learn more about the factors you should consider before blowing the whistle on your company, consult an experienced Dallas attorney at Whistleblower Law for Managers.

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  • "Reaching out to Steve Kardell was the best decision I made. His ability to provide immediate insight and direction was very powerful, and a huge relief during a very stressful time period. For anyone struggling with a whistleblower situation, I would highly recommend at least speaking with Steve. After a 10 minute call with him, I had a better understanding of what I was dealing with. Even better, he gave me some immediate hope. In the end Steve did a better job than I thought was possible. Steve was able to get in contact with people in my organization, that I didn’t have access to. Because of his years of experience, he already has contacts in many organizations in Dallas. The entire situation was handled peacefully. I was impressed by his ability to “keep the peace”–rather than creating a battle with the organization. The reason I didn’t reach out to a lawyer initially, was because I thought it would mean an immediate end to any hope of a positive relationship with the company. Steve was able to address my concerns, and in the end I was able to continue to work for them."  -KS

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