Most people want to believe that if they notice corruption or other wrongdoing at their place of work, they would speak up right away. However, it is a much more complex situation for many.
In order to prepare for any potential outcome, it is important for any whistleblower to understand the risks and what to expect when blowing the whistle.
Bloomberg discusses things to consider before blowing the whistle at work. The first thing: make sure there is a reportable offense. Unfortunately, many injustices and misdeeds do not actually count as reportable offenses. Offenses that a person can report include:
- Regulatory breaches
- Criminal offenses
- Unlawful actions
In short, it needs to be something that a court of law can act upon. For example, report fraudulent billing practices against the government, because that is an actionable offense.
In many cases, a person may have issues with how their company practices work and how the company itself is run. However, the company is not technically doing anything illegal, and thus there are no real avenues for a person to blow the whistle.
No need for investigations
Whistleblowers are also not investigators. They simply draw the attention of the appropriate agencies to the fact that a problem may exist. It is then up to those agencies to do all of the detective work. They will look through the records to get to the root of the problems, and a whistleblower generally just acts as a witness to the wrongdoings.
Fortunately, the law is on the side of whistleblowers, which can make a scary task a little less intimidating.