Being a whistleblower can be nerve-wracking. When you feel the urge to speak up but notice that no one else is paying any mind or are shrugging their shoulders at misconduct, it can take serious courage to be the voice that speaks out.
And while there’s no guarantee that the process will go any particular way, one reason that many feel anxious is they worry about the backlash they will receive and how it could affect their career going forward.
Tips for being a whistleblower
An article from the National Whistleblower Center elaborates on protocol to follow when initially speaking up. For instance, even when misconduct is illegal, employees need to be extremely careful that they do not break the law when raising the alarm. According to the NWC, even well-meaning employees have ended up serving time in their attempt to bring others to justice.
In addition, it can be extremely valuable to educate yourself on what your rights are going forward and the deadlines that you have. If an employer acts in a retaliatory manner, the statute of limitations for bringing this to light can range from 30 to 180 days depending on what industry you work in. In addition, there are recommended pieces of information you can provide to an investigator and even a variety of ways to file your claim. Taking a few minutes to educate yourself on the process could save you from a mistake made down the line.
Whistleblowing can be a complicated effort, which can add further anxiety to it. There is always the worry that an employer may try to retaliate against you, even though protections are in place. No matter what step you are at in the process, know that you are not alone. There are resources online that can assist you in this time of need, and professional counsel available should you run into trouble. In the effort to bring injustice to light, help is available.