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Whistleblowers risk their lives, reputation, and even jobs to fight for justice. They report illegal activities or information to the authorities. However, before raising your voice against abuse, corruption, or injustices, you need to know your rights to protect you and your family.
There are no universal rights for whistleblowers. However, as a whistleblower, you enjoy the constitutional rights set by the local and federal governments. At times, you will be protected based on what you reveal to others or what you engage in when whistleblowing.
Whistleblowers earn a lot of respect for their dedication and willingness to reinforce the law by bringing offenders to book. Thus, some states have enacted specific rules to protect and reward those who choose to blow the whistle. It is advisable to learn about the laws that protect you before you raise your voice against any wrongdoers.
Often, employees get fired after exposing their employers’ wrongdoings. The best protection for whistleblowers is staying anonymous and getting advice from a reliable employment attorney in Los Angeles. Thanks to the modern whistleblower laws, your confidentiality is guaranteed. The risk of losing your job will be minimal. However, you should use procedures that protect your identity.
Whistleblower laws offer job security to employees who disclose offenders. They are protected against retaliation. Also, they are permitted by the law to receive financial rewards if their evidence is substantial.
Whistleblowers provide vital information to law enforcers, which help them in uncovering crimes and other illegal practices. Due to their efforts, many cases have been filed, and various frauds have been disclosed. However, as a whistleblower, it is good to be cautious when carrying out your activities. Here are various do’s and don’ts that you need to observe as a whistleblower:
What Are You Supposed to Do or Not Do When Blowing the Whistle?
As a whistleblower, your decisions should not negatively affect your safety. It is good to talk to an informant attorney in Los Angeles before disclosing information to the public. He or she can provide a detailed overview of rewards, retaliation protections, and help you understand the consequences of blowing the whistle.
Don’t take matters into your own hands
Getting the best legal representation will keep you protected and preserve your confidentiality. Working with the right lawyer will keep you informed on the risks and rewards associated with your decision. The professional will advise you on specific laws that apply to your situation. Taking matters into your own hands is a risky decision that can expose you to dangerous wrongdoers.
Don’t blow the whistle unless you have all the facts
Remember, you must have strong evidence before making any allegations. Otherwise, you will lose the case. Moreover, analyze the consequences that may occur if you report the wrongdoer. Are you risking the lives and jobs of others? Is it worth it? A competent whistleblower attorney can help you make the right decision. Their understanding of the law and your evidence will be your most essential tools when whistleblowing.
Consult Other Whistleblowers
Consulting other whistleblowers is not a weakness. The decision helps you understand the right strategies to take, especially if you are new to whistleblowing. For instance, a reputable whistleblower will help you know how to gather facts to help you expose wrongdoers.
Establish support networks
Whistleblowing can be an isolating experience. Therefore, it is advisable to seek support from friends and family. Although exposing wrongdoings can be beneficial to many people, it can cost your job. If you fail to seek professional help at an early stage, you may find yourself in trouble in future stages of the investigation. Therefore, you should surround yourself with strong support networks to encourage and keep you focused.
File formal reports on any suspected crimes
To ensure you are protected, you will have to record a formal statement. Moreover, you should hire an attorney to ensure it is done properly. Whistleblowing without recording formal statements may be in vain.
Maintain a strong moral compass
Never be influenced by other people’s views. You should learn to trust your opinions. However, it is imperative to maintain a strong compass to make you a trustworthy whistleblower.
Don’t take any substances that can negatively impact your agility
You must be sober and mentally stable to deal with any challenges related to your whistleblowing activities. Therefore, it is not advisable to engage yourself in drug and substance abuse as a whistleblower.
Do believe in yourself
Expecting much from others may lead to depression. This is not the time to be disturbed psychologically. Once you choose to be a whistleblower, be ready to work on your own. Often, whistleblowers are abandoned by their colleagues and friends. If it happens, be prepared to battle alone.
Do take notes
Documenting your evidence will give you an easier path to winning the case. Write down any potential witnesses and facts. Ensure you collect all the information legally and share it with your lawyer. Ensure you do not engage in any crime when compiling your evidence about a particular employer.
Record anything that may result in retaliation
Document any evidence that may lead to retaliation and keep your records safe. Such details will back up your claim in the event that you experience retaliation.
Don’t use company devices when communicating with your lawyer
Lawyers that represent whistleblowers should be contacted via personal devices. Using company communication systems to communicate with your legal counsel will expose your intentions. Remember, organizations that commit crimes are likely to track any outgoing and incoming messages.
Guard your words and actions
Avoid using comments or phrases that can be traced and reveal your intent or acts. Some companies may go through emails or calls of their employees in an attempt to find whistleblowers.
Exposing wrongdoers can be a costly decision, and especially if you participated in the wrongdoing. Thus, consult an attorney to understand the potential risks of providing information about your deeds. It is advisable to get the best whistleblower legal representation in such a situation.