Becoming a whistleblower can feel like entering a murky legal realm. You cannot prove misconduct without documents, but you risk termination if you appropriate the documents. Unfortunately, the dilemma increases when you realize that the company may destroy evidence while you wait for civil discovery.
Learning to gather documents may help ease your mind and help you report misconduct.
Try to limit the documents you gather to those that come across your desk or that you have easy access to. If you go through your company’s files or go on a hunt for information, the court may not act as favorably towards you.
The courts do not consider indiscriminate appropriation to be reasonable. When you make a claim, you do not want documents that do not matter to the case itself. The court may then question why you have them to begin with. Seek information you have access to regularly.
Be reasonable about what you gather by staying away from legally protected documents. Even if you have fraud-related documents, you should not include protected documents like trade secrets, client privilege documents or sensitive information. There may be some documents that you have to remove before you present your case to ensure that protected information does not harm your claim.
When you make a claim against your employer or place of work, you should expect there to be a battle. The business will try to protect itself, so you need to be careful as you collect evidence.