The sheer number of whistleblower protection laws that have been enacted in both the US and around the world is enough to leave your head spinning when researching the protections that these laws provide. If this is not reason enough for you to seek out the counsel of a qualified whistleblower lawyer, the three reasons outlined below may help you to better understand why these legal services are so important when deciding to do the right thing and expose corruption.
There May Be A Statute Of Limitations Associated With Legal Protections
While whistleblower protection laws are designed to protect individuals who wish to do the right thing when exposing fraud, corruption, or waste within either a corporation or government entity, these laws also provide protection from illegitimate claims of wrongdoing. One of the ways this is accomplished is by limiting the amount of time a person has to claim protection as a whistleblower. This helps to prevent individuals with a personal vendetta or agenda from making accusations and then claiming to be a whistleblower only if their accusations are challenged. Consulting with a qualified lawyer before reporting your findings can ensure that you enjoy all the protections the law provides.
It Is Vital That Proper Channels Are Used When Blowing The Whistle
While your first instinct may be to go to your supervisor to report evidence of wrongdoing, this may not be in your best interest. After all, internal reporting systems are designed to protect the best interests of the very people you wish to report. Consulting a lawyer can help you to determine the best course for exposing the information you have while simultaneously ensuring that the wrongdoers are held responsible for their actions. This is especially important if you have signed any type of non-disclosure agreement as part of your employment.
Make Sure You Are Legally Protected Against Retaliation
The law prevents employers from retaliating against whistleblowers. However, it can be difficult to prove that certain actions are taken as a means of retaliation rather than being based on job performance if you do not take steps to protect yourself prior to exposing whatever potentially damaging information you possess. Contacting a lawyer before filing any internal or external complaints will allow you to establish a clear timeline and ultimately ensure that you are protected against any form of retaliation including being fired or demoted. These protections will also prevent your employer from making negative statements about you that could prevent you from getting other employment if you choose to seek out a new employer on a voluntary basis.