From our offices in the Detroit area, Akeel & Valentine, PLC serves clients nationwide.

From our offices in the Detroit area, Akeel & Valentine, PLC serves clients nationwide.

Do you qualify for whistleblower protection?

On Behalf of | Sep 18, 2023 | Whistleblower

Whistleblower protection is a crucial safeguard for individuals who want to report wrongdoing within an organization. It shields those who expose unlawful activities or misconduct from retaliation.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, whistleblower laws protected 2,071 people reporting OSHA violations in the fiscal year 2022. Hundreds more had safety when reporting violations under other statutes. You may find yourself in a situation where you need whistleblower protection. To qualify, you must meet several conditions.

Reporting legally protected activity

To be eligible for whistleblower protection, you must report a legally protected activity. This typically involves revealing violations of laws and regulations that pose a significant threat to the public interest. Reported activities usually involve fraud, safety violations and financial misconduct.

Reporting to the appropriate authority

You must report the wrongdoing to the appropriate authority. This might be a supervisor, compliance officer or another designated person within your organization. You can also report to external entities, such as government agencies or law enforcement.

Non-retaliation provisions

Protection hinges on non-retaliation provisions. These rules prohibit employers from taking adverse actions against employees who report misconduct. They are built-into whistleblower laws.

Good faith reporting

It is essential to make your report in good faith based on a sincere belief that the misconduct is true and violates the law. Whistleblower protection does not extend to those who make false or malicious reports.

Timing matters

Some whistleblower laws require that you report the wrongdoing within a specified timeframe. Delayed reporting might jeopardize your eligibility for protection.

Evidence and documentation

Having evidence to support your claims can strengthen your eligibility for whistleblower protection. Document any relevant information to substantiate your report. Evidence could be emails, witness statements or internal documents.

Different laws and regulations govern whistleblower protection in various contexts. Understanding the specific legal framework that applies to your situation is essential to upholding your rights and receiving all protections available.