Are you sick and tired of seeing corruption proliferate in your workplace? Are regulations and standard practices being violated left and right with administration encouraging the violations and perhaps even threatening those who don't step in line? You might be considering whistle-blowing (or in other words, reporting your employer to the relevant agency). Whistle-blowing can put an end to corruption and make positive change, but it's also quite hard on the whistle-blower. Here are some ways you can protect yourself if you decide to report your employer.
1. Talk to someone you trust.
One of the hardest aspects of whistle-blowing is not being able to talk about it at work. (In most cases, you will want to remain anonymous for as long as possible so your employer does not retaliate.) To help yourself resist the temptation to blow your cover and tell a coworker. Instead, choose a loved one to serve as your confidant. This could be your partner, friend, mother, father, or sibling. Having someone to talk to will help keep you emotionally stable and strong throughout this challenging process.
2. Work within the system first.
Before you go all of the way to the top and report your employer, try working within the established system to make changes. For example, report violations to your supervisor, or to human resources. Having a record that you took the advised steps and nothing was done will help ensure your reports are taken seriously when you do go to "the top."
3. Stick with the facts.
In an effort to be taken seriously, you may be tempted to exaggerate stories or add claims to your case. But this strategy can backfire. If your employer's lawyers are able to prove the falsehood of even a tiny part of your claim, it will call into question the accuracy of everything you're reporting. Be honest and only include actual facts when you report the issue.
4. Keep records.
It is illegal for your employer to retaliate against you for reporting them to a relevant agency whose regulations they have violated. However, employers do retaliate, and if yours does, you will want to have airtight records so you can file a lawsuit against them for the termination, poor treatment, or discipline. Make sure these records are on your own flash drive or cloud storage account so you can still access them even if you lose access to your work files.
With the tips above, you will have better luck maintaining your sanity and dignity as you whistle-blow against your company. For more assistance, reach out to a whistle-blower protection attorney.