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Common Legal Questions For Whistleblowers- Answered

Personal Injury Attorneys

When actions in the workplace are not only misguided but also unethical and unlawful and even put the health and safety of the general public at risk, those who expose wrongdoing may require the assistance of a whistleblower lawyer in your area. Whistleblowers play a critical role in exposing corruption and fraud and helping to stop it from happening in the future as well as unsafe workplaces that cause injuries as our own personal injury attorneys well know. Because of this, it’s essential to be aware that blowing the whistle is a heavy burden to bear, one that can have significant ramifications for the person who comes forward. While whistleblower protections are in place for those exposing their employers’ unlawful actions, whistleblowers can face retaliation and even find it challenging to gain employment after they have lost their job. As Eric Siegel Law can explain, whistleblowers should consider consulting with an experienced lawyer not only for a path forward but also to answer the many questions they will have. 

What is a whistleblower?

A whistleblower is someone, typically an employee, who comes forward to report information about unethical or unlawful behavior. Typically these employees do so without permission from their employer and, as a result, stand to face severe consequences that could not only result in mistreatment but damage their reputation and even result in job loss. Typically whistleblowers report things like: law violations, fraud, danger to public health and safety, and more. Throughout history, there have been several high-profile whistleblower cases, for example:

  • Theranos
  • Watergate
  • Enron
  • Pfizer
  • +More

What types of disclosures can a whistleblower make that will provide them with whistleblower protections?

When a person possesses information that could be potentially fraudulent or illegal, it can be challenging to know whether the information they possess is relevant enough to come forward. While a lawyer can assist with the process and determine what may qualify. Examples can include:

  • Violations of the Law
  • Gross Mismanagement
  • Rule Violations
  • Malpractice
  • Danger to Public Health and Safety

What is whistleblower retaliation? 

Blowing the whistle on an organization is a protected employee act meaning that whistleblowers can not be retaliated against for participating in this activity. Retaliation is when a person is mistreated for coming forward to report violations of employment law or other unlawful activities. Unfortunately, retaliation can be deeply impactful common examples of retaliation include:

  • Firing
  • Job Loss
  • Black Listing
  • Being Left Out of Meetings
  • Mistreatment
  • Unreasonable Expectations
  • +More

Can a person be retaliated against for blowing the whistle against the employer?

As mentioned, retaliation for blowing the whistle is illegal; unfortunately, many employers may still engage in this activity. In some cases, they may even make threats to stop the whistleblower from disclosing information regarding fraud, corruption, and unlawful activities. If a person has experienced retaliation, it may be necessary to take legal action with help from a lawyer. 

How can a whistleblower lawyer assist their clients?

When meeting with a whistleblower lawyer, they will work with the plaintiff to gather as many details as possible regarding the situation. There can be several layers to cases of this nature, making it complicated and challenging for a person to know the most appropriate way to move forward. A whistleblower lawyer will play a key role in carefully evaluating the available information, conducting investigations, and helping to move forward with the process. 

When a whistleblower comes forward, valuable information is provided that stops wrongdoing and protects the general public. However, navigating the process can be profoundly challenging. At times, reporting fraud crimes to the corporation participating in illegal behavior is not favorable for the person coming forward to blow the whistle. Contact a whistleblower lawyer in your area for help immediately.