Whistleblowing is the act of reporting wrongdoing or unethical behavior in the workplace. Doing so maintains integrity, but it can also lead to potential retaliation from employers or colleagues.
Whistleblower retaliation is malicious and often unlawful behavior. Protecting yourself against this type of retaliation ensures a safe and fair working environment.
Know your rights
Being aware of your rights as an employee is the first step toward safeguarding yourself against whistleblower retaliation. Familiarize yourself with company policies and state laws that protect whistleblowers. California’s whistleblower law, for example, specifically prohibits employers from retaliating against workers who report violations of local, state or federal laws
When you witness or report unethical behavior, keep thorough records of the incidents. This includes dates, times, locations, people involved and any evidence you might have. Having a detailed record can be invaluable if you need to prove your claims later on.
Report to the right channels
Follow your company’s established procedures for reporting unethical or unlawful behavior. This could mean speaking to a designated supervisor, human resources or an ethics hotline. By using the official channels, you create a trail of documentation that supports your case.
Stay updated on company changes and any updates related to your whistleblower report. Being informed about the situation can help you anticipate potential challenges and react proactively to any developments.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission received over 12,300 whistleblower tips in 2022. If you choose to stand up for a better, safer workplace, you are joining thousands of other employees who believe in the same cause.