Blowing the whistle on corporate wrongdoing is a heroic act that takes a lot of guts. While today there are more protections against retaliation and termination afforded to whistleblowers than ever, it is still important for whistleblowers to know what they can do to protect themselves if they do decide to come forward with their information.
With this in mind, below are some tips you should keep in mind when acting as a whistleblower:
- Document everything: Record conversations, make copies of files (both physical and digital) and track everything that supports your allegations as thoroughly as possible. It’s not just enough to know there is wrongdoing happening within your workplace—you must have tangible evidence to help you prove it. Store all this documentation somewhere independent of your organization.
- Report findings to the correct authorities: Depending on the type of organization you work for or the kinds of allegations you have, there might be different places where you’ll first report the information. No matter where you take that information, you should try to meet in person as much as possible, as this will lend you some credibility and help build a rapport with the authorities that could be helpful in your case.
- Work with an attorney: Whenever you blow the whistle on a company or organization, you should always have an attorney on retainer who can shield you from any potential retaliation or other ill effects of your actions.
- Be careful who you talk to: You should limit who you tell about your allegations as much as possible so the information does not come out through other people, or in a garbled and inaccurate manner.
- Establish some savings: Having a cash reserve is helpful. While you might be able to benefit from some sort of whistleblower award, you should also have a backup cash reserve prepared just in case something temporarily happens to your state of employment.
A skilled whistleblower attorney will keep you informed of your rights and protect you from retaliation. Consult the Kardell Law Group for further guidance.