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When fairness overrides loyalty in the workplace

If you are one of many employees in Michigan who go to work each day and do your best to carry out your duties and to collect the paycheck that helps you make ends meet, you're probably familiar with common noun often used to describe desirable work ethics in this nation: loyalty. Being loyal to your company ranks high on the list of virtues and qualities that may place you in good standing in your workplace.

What happens, however, if you face a situation where fairness and justice beckon your conscience? What if that which you know to be fair directly contradicts company loyalty? If this sounds all too familiar to you, you might be one of many workers currently dealing with moral, practical and legal challenges regarding whistleblowing against employers.

Is your situation included in this list of whistleblowing incidents?

The last thing you need is to worry about job security or escalated stress levels in the workplace due to someone's wrongdoing adversely affecting you, other workers or the public at large. Perhaps you relate to one or more of the following reasons for blowing the whistle:

  • Your workplace climate has grown toxic due to a superior's continued unjust actions against another employee or all workers in the company.
  • You have witnessed your employer committing acts that are causing unjust economic loss to employees.
  • Your employer (or others coerced, bribed or threatened by your employer) is committing acts that violate safety and/or health regulations, thus causing hazardous risks to workers or the public.
  • Your employer (or, others conspiring with your employer) is covering up facts and truth in order to avoid penalties.

Whether your particular situation can be found in this list, or some other incident or issue is prompting you to blow the whistle, you may be struggling with fairness versus loyalty and how to determine if the prior should take precedence over the latter.

Discerning when or if you should blow the whistle

A first logical step to take when trying to decide what to do if a superior at work is acting unjustly is to consider the possible consequences of not reporting the issue. Will it resolve itself? Will you or anyone suffer harm if you stay silent? Other practical tips may also guide your discernment:

  • Carefully assessing the potential consequences of blowing the whistle and whether you are prepared to accept them can be a crucial component to your decision-making process.
  • If no adequate alternative exists, you may ultimately determine that whistleblowing is the most viable option to resolve the problem.
  • If you choose loyalty over fairness, might there be potentially damaging results for shareholders, other employees or the general public?

It's understandable you may feel overwhelmed and nervous when you consider blowing the whistle on your employer or other superiors within your workplace. Perhaps you fear losing your job or suspect that if they are called out, those doing wrong will somehow manipulate the situation to make it look like you are the guilty party.

You do not have to stand alone

You can take comfort in knowing you do not have to address such issues alone. By seeking support, you can protect your rights and seek justice against fraud, discrimination or other violations of employment law or safety regulations.

Many other courageous people who have been in similar situations in the past have obtained successful results by acting alongside experienced guidance. You may be able to overcome any obstacles an employer or superior may try to place in your path by allowing a skilled attorney to act on your behalf, and may gain peace of mind knowing you did what you believe is right.

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