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Whistleblowing while you work

When something at work just doesn't seem right, you may wonder what to do. Maybe you have brought the discrepancy to the attention of your supervisor, but he or she dismissed your complaint or warned you not to talk about it. If you continue to see managers or co-workers behaving in illegal or unethical ways, it may create a sense of conflict in you.

Michigan workers like you deliberate this problem every day. If you feel fortunate to have the job, if it pays very well or if you are afraid you won't be able to get another job like it, you may be reluctant to talk about the questionable methods your administration condones.

Not a decision to make lightly

While you may know it is the right thing to do, blowing the whistle may cause bigger trouble for you than you can imagine. Others who have taken the brave step have experienced some of the following:

  • Your company may demote you or terminate your employment.
  • Your supervisor may let you keep your job title but strip you of important responsibilities.
  • Your company may deny you chances to advance in your position or participate in professional development activities.
  • Your administration may transfer you to another region or otherwise make it impossible for you to remain in the company.
  • Your coworkers may create a hostile environment for you with verbal, emotional or physical assaults.

It is against the law for your company to retaliate against you in any negative way. Nevertheless, you can see why making the decision to report illegal workplace activity can be an agonizing process.

Does your company have something to hide?

With the amount of money companies lose due to fraud and the increasing protection for employees who report illegal workplace activity, businesses would benefit from creating an environment in which administrators encourage whistleblowing. A company that hopes to remain transparent and respectable may enact policies that prohibit any kind of retaliation against those who report fraud or other illegal practices.

Experts estimate that 40 percent of fraud cases - which can cost a company about 5 percent of its profits - come to light through the reports of whistleblowers. While businesses should be grateful for the conscientious efforts of employees like you who are looking out for clients and the company good, many workplaces become unbearable for whistleblowers.

You are not alone!

If you are experiencing retaliation because you have reported illegal work practices, or if you are considering blowing the whistle on some unscrupulous activity in your company, you may wish to contact an attorney for advice and help. An attorney can guide you in taking the next step and help you to determine the best course of action for your circumstances.

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