A whistleblower is an employee who reveals wrongdoing by their employer of the sort that harms people or goes against public law. If you believe illegal, illicit, immoral, fraudulent, or unsafe activity is happening in your organization and are considering whistleblowing, there is a chance you are feeling unsure or hesitant. Perhaps you do not want to be called a disloyal employee or think you must go public. Or maybe you think you lack credibility because you do not possess firsthand knowledge. Unfortunately, the subject of whistleblowing is surrounded by a lot of myths. And maybe some of these myths are the ones that are making you feel unsure or hesitant. Before you decide not to whistleblow because of what you have heard or read, take time to understand the facts about whistleblowing. In this article, we debunk some common myths about whistleblowing;
Myth #1: You Must Sacrifice Your Career to Whistle-Blow
One of the most prevalent whistleblowing myths is that you must sacrifice your career to do it. Indeed, many employees who blow the whistle suffer significant damage to their careers due to retaliation. However, you may be able to reveal information while keeping your identity confidential. Also, retaliation by your employer is illegal. So if your employer fires you for whistleblowing, you can take legal action against them and have them reinstate you to your former position.
Myth #2: Whistleblowers Are Disloyal Employees
Whistleblowers are not disloyal employees. If anything, exposing wrongdoing in a company indicates integrity. As a whistleblower, you uphold your company’s values and aim to protect them at all costs. By whistleblowing, you are aiming to create an environment where all employees feel safe and protected from issues that could harm them.
Myth #3: You Have To Go Public
One main thing that prevents employees from blowing the whistle is the belief that they must go public. But the truth is that, in many cases, whistleblowers are not obligated to identify themselves to the public. In many cases, you can choose to blow the whistle anonymously. Depending on the case, you may be able to keep your identity confidential throughout the investigation. You should consult with an attorney on whether and how you can maintain confidentiality under the specific circumstances of your case.
Myth #4: You Must Possess First-Hand Knowledge
Generally, no whistleblower law requires a whistleblower to present first-hand information. You can make your report as long as you reasonably believe wrongdoing has occurred. It generally comes down to the credibility of the information you provide.
Myth #5: If You Have Biases Toward the Wrongdoer, You Don’t Qualify for Whistleblower Protection
No whistleblower law disqualifies you from protection just because you have biases toward a person or the company. You are protected regardless of your motive for making the disclosure.
In conclusion, it is important to state that while blowing the whistle might be a noble quest, you need to proceed cautiously. There are several things you need to consider before whistleblowing. Also, make sure you understand your rights thoroughly before whistleblowing.
Contact Us for Guidance
If you are considering whistleblowing, contact our New Jersey employment lawyer. We can help you understand the intricacies of your case before you proceed so you can ensure a desirable outcome for you and your company.