Whistleblowers are a very important part of a free society. Many times they are the only thing between unethical practices by businesses and the public. Without them, we may not know about the private dealings that have a negative effect on an industry or even society.
However, if you are tempted to blow the whistle on your company then you need to protect yourself and have a very good lawyer for workplace issues. Setting the stage before you take action is essential to make sure that your claims actually do something and that you are not exposing yourself to anything negative.
Here are some of the things you should be doing ahead of time to make sure that you are protected before you go looking for a lawyer.
1 – Be Good about Documenting Things
Whatever the incident is that happened or is ongoing that you feel the need to speak out about there is surely some kind of paper trail. Make sure to collect whatever documents you can about it so that there is plenty of evidence of it.
Not only is this evidence going to be needed for the problem that you are exposing, but also to prevent you from being sued for libel. This is a way that you will likely be intimidated so you need to have all the proof you can get to make sure that doesn’t happen.
When you collect the evidence make sure to store it in a safe place where it can’t be found or tampered with.
2 – Be a Credible Person
You need to be taken seriously as there will surely be attacks on your character without any foundation in fact. However, you can’t allow for anything to feed into those attacks. An example would be overexaggerating the story for effect. Also, if you were to change your story multiple times then this would look bad and open you up to be sued.
Make sure to have the story consistent and not to go to every news source that wants to report on it. Pick credible ones and avoid anything that might resemble you profiting off of this story making it out into the public.
3 – Trust Nobody
Be very careful with who you entrust the story. There will surely be people who will want to undercut you and make life difficult for you. This means you have to keep a lot of things to yourself.
Be sure to research who the right person or agency is with whom you can divulge the story. It may be the police, it could be a regulatory agency or it may be a member of the press. The important thing is that the person you trust with this information will be able to move it forward and keep you protected at the same time.
A journalist is the most likely candidate as they won’t divulge sources and have a duty to the public to report stories such as these.