Whistleblowing: Tips and Advice

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Whistleblowers have become increasingly more recognized in the public eye since the 1960s and particularly after Time Magazine named 2002 ‘The Year of the Whistleblower.’ However the whistleblower definition remains the same: a whistle blower is an individual, usually an employee; that discloses information to the public or the authorities about mismanagement, corruption, illegal activity, fraud or any other wrongdoing in the workplace.

Blowing the Whistle

Blowing the whistle can often be one of the most difficult decisions a person may be faced with.  However a number of federal whistleblower statutes and state statutes and regulations have been enacted to protect whistleblowers from retaliation. Federal whistleblower statutes protect employees who file a whistleblower suit from discharge and discrimination. Furthermore the federal False Claims Act incentivises whistleblowing by offering a financial reward of up to 30% of the recovered damages to anyone who files a lawsuit against a company committing fraud against the U.S government.

Federal Whistleblower Statute

The majority of states have enacted a federal whistleblower statute however these statutes vary widely as some only apply to public employees, whilst some apply to public and private employees and others apply to public employees and employees of public contractors. Therefore it is essential that potential whistleblowers are familiar with the federal whistleblower statute and whistleblower policies that apply to them before filing suit. Under a typical U.S federal whistleblower statute, in order to meet the terms of the whistleblower definition, the individual must have reason to believe that his or her employer has violated a law, rule or regulation and must then testify or commence a legal proceeding.

In order to ensure that the individual is familiar with legal procedure, the whistleblower definition and whistleblower policies it is highly recommended that any individuals who wish to disclose wrongdoing speak first with an experienced attorney.

If you know of an employer or a company that is engaged in illegal activity or wrongdoing but you are unsure about whether to blow the whistle, and see that they are held accountable for their actions, attorneys our experienced personal injury law firm can offer their legal help. Please fill out an online form and learn more about your legal rights, whistleblower policies and the consequences of filing suit.