Let's say, for instance, that you would like to report your employer for being involved in some illegal activity. What kind of protection or assistance is available if you become an official whistleblower? Well, you probably would not believe it, but there is a lot of protection.
What is a whistleblower?
A whistleblower is defined as a person who informs about the illegal or unethical actions of their employers. The whistleblower could be an employee of the company or a government agency coming forward. You may also be concerned about becoming a whistleblower and reporting your employer. You may worry about retaliation or what may happen if you do report them.
There are laws written to protect people just like you. The whistleblower laws were created so you would feel secure in your decision to report the illegal activities.
- The Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 is a United States federal law that protects whistleblowers who report agency misbehavior. An agency violates the Whistleblower Protection Act if the agency authorities take (or threaten to take) punitive personnel action against the employee or applicant. You can file a complaint if you feel like this has happened to you.
- The United States Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) also offers help to whistleblowers with the OSH Act passed in 1970. It protects employees who report violations of workplace safety and health or experience discrimination.
- The Qui Tam Actions- help whistleblowers who are reporting their company for fraud or violating the False Claims Act, or similar state or local laws.
Any time you feel like your company is not doing something right and breaking the law and you consider becoming a whistleblower, it is good to know the laws. It is also good to educate yourself on any type of protections that are in place to make sure you feel safe enough to come forward to report it.