When you accept a job offer from a respectable business, you expect that your employment situation will be safe and entirely legal. Unfortunately, people sometimes show up to work and learn that their employer has done something inappropriate. Companies may adopt practices that are unsafe or unlawful, and workers may feel like they cannot speak up about their concerns for fear of losing their jobs.
When concerning practices or behaviors are not a one-time incident but are, instead, representative of company practices or policy, employees may need to speak up to protect themselves and the people that they work with from injury and/or liability.
Whistleblowers – individuals who report issues at an organization to internal authorities and/or regulatory agencies – benefit from protection from retaliation under state and federal laws. If you become a whistleblower, you should, therefore, be able to maintain your employment without any negative consequences if you speak up about the following serious issue at your job.
There are numerous safety regulations that employers may bend or break because they are expensive or time-consuming to uphold. Especially in industries like manufacturing and construction, safety infractions could put people’s lives at risk. Workers have the right to speak up when a company’s actions put people at risk and do not adhere to existing safety regulations for workplaces in general or a specific industry.
Perhaps you’ve just taken a job with a small medical office after working for a hospital for years. You quickly recognize that some of their practices violate healthcare fraud statutes. When you choose to notify management about your concerns or draw attention the attention of government regulatory agencies to company practices, you should not have to worry about losing your job or facing other career penalties for doing the right thing.
Witnessing harassment and discrimination in the workplace can also lead to someone speaking up on behalf of others who may not feel empowered to defend themselves. Those who serve as whistleblowers often need to carefully protect themselves from retaliation by keeping thorough records and educating themselves about their rights.
Preparing to protect yourself as a workplace whistleblower often requires careful planning, proper support and nerves of steel. Yet, this effort may be – quite simply – the right thing to do.