Becoming a whistleblower can be a serious and risky situation. Most people fear becoming whistleblowers as they fear retaliation or attack from the accused individuals or organizations. Whistleblowing policies and provisions should protect anyone that reports illegal conduct from any employer, employment agency, or labor organization.
Most whistleblower laws permit you to receive financial rewards associated with the case. Therefore, it’s essential to understand your duties, rights, obligations, and risks when deciding to become a whistleblower.
So, What is Whistleblowing?
In a nutshell, whistleblowing is an act of reporting wrongful doings done either by an individual or within an organization, like fraud, corruption, or sexual harassment, to a higher authority. The whistleblower is often closely connected to the individual or the organization, like a team member, but it can also be a customer or a supplier.
Suppose you observe behaviors or actions that you believe are misconduct, illegal, or not in line with the institution’s code of conduct—for example, corruption or sexual harassment issues. In that case, you can take the initiative to become a whistleblower.
It’s important to note that whistleblowing is not limited to workplaces as it can happen in other areas like homes or public spaces. There are two types of whistleblowing.
1. Organizational whistleblowing
Organizational whistleblowing is when an organization implementsa platform to reduce the risk of malpractice. The platform ensures that managers and supervisors can control any damage early on after receiving a tip on irregularities. Most organizations provide mechanisms that enable whistleblowing, like a secure whistleblowing system or a hotline.
2. Public whistleblowing
This can occur due to trust issues in a work environment, and the team member may be inclined to blow the whistle publicly. For example, a team member can post the case on social media, report it to the police, or go to the press.
Unfortunately, public whistleblowing can place an institution at risk of public reputation damage. Additionally, some claims require that the reports be directly filed with a professional regulator or a body before being presented on public platforms.
What is a Whistleblower Claim?
A whistleblower claim is an official submission or complaint describing abuse, fraud, misconduct, or illegal activities. A whistleblowing claim depends on the presented case. If your claim is conformable under the whistleblower reward program, you may get a chance to pursue the case.
4 Great Traits of a Good Whistleblower Lawyer
Although laws protect against whistleblowing retaliation, it is not uncommon for a whistleblower to face some form of revenge. Choosing an experienced whistleblower lawyer like Tully Rinckey legal and many others is essential in having your case heard and minimizing the chances of retaliation.
To get the best representation, consider looking for the following qualities when choosing for a whistleblower lawyer.
Experience in Whistleblower Cases
A lawyer with experience in whistleblower cases provides sound advice on your claim’s legitimacy. On the other hand, an experienced whistleblower lawyer such as Tully Rinckey can articulate your case with competence and ease.
Additionally, most whistleblowing laws and programs exist in state and federal statutes, making every whistleblower claim subject to different rules and procedures.
Successful Track Record
When meeting with your desired legal representative, ask for details on the type of case, like the “qui tam” whistleblower cases. It’s not uncommon to see lawyers that claim success in their representation but fail to say they are not familiar with whistleblower cases.
Enough Resources for the Case
Whistleblower claims are time-consuming, expensive, and require adequate resources to win the case. Therefore, the lawyer should have a professional and experienced team of other lawyers in case the claim involves the opinion of more than one attorney.
Your lawyer should be willing to protect you at all costs, as it takes courage and bravery to whistleblow an issue, anddisclosing confidential information against an employer or private or public institution can have dangerous consequences or outcomes if things do not go according to plan.
A good whistleblower lawyer must treat your case with sensitivity and the utmost discretion. Additionally, they should be willing to go the extra mile of offering guidance and assistance, and answering concerning questions to make you comfortable throughout the entire process.
Walk with an Experienced Lawyer When Filing a Claim
Working with a whistleblower lawyer with vast experience in whistleblowing cases will assist you with your claim, and can provideprotection against the reported organization or individual. ecoming a whistleblower can lead to emotional, career, or social consequences.
Fortunately, the law is designed to protect you against harm or retaliation after filing a whistleblower claim.