If you witness an example of fraudulent behavior at your company, you know that the right thing to do is blow the whistle. However, it is perfectly reasonable to fear retaliation or other consequences that the company might try to bring down upon you.
Whistleblowers are relatively common in health care, education or any other industry that works closely with the government. Once you understand how the law acts to protect you from certain potential consequences, you will be able to confidently move forward with your whistleblower claim.
Can I lose my job?
The most common fear among potential whistleblowers is that the company will fire them for reporting their fraudulent activity to the government. The government takes fraud very seriously and provides protection for whistleblowers through acts such as OSHA’s Whistleblower Protection Program. The included laws ensure that employers will not take retaliatory action against individuals who blow the whistle on deceptive behavior.
Will I lose my reputation?
Companies may be hesitant to hire workers who are likely to raise concerns about their more unscrupulous activities. While blacklisting falls under retaliatory behavior that is illegal as per protective laws, employers might still try to kill your career from under the table after a whistleblowing incident. The best way to maintain your career and professional reputation is to take advantage of confidentiality provisions that keep your identity anonymous throughout your whistleblowing claim.
While companies might try to threaten you for raising awareness of their fraudulent actions, the law is on your side. You might even be able to recover financial damages for your part in assisting the government.