If you are an employee whose employer is engaging in misconduct, then you might feel that you need to expose their wrongdoing. However, the thought of moving forward with your claims may seem daunting, and you might worry about what type of retaliation you could face.
If you are considering reporting illegal or unethical behavior, make sure you understand the process and what protections are in place for whistleblowers.
Know your rights
What you may not know is that whistleblowers have rights protected by federal law. For example, if you identify a hazard, refuse to perform an unsafe task or request an inspection, you are safe from retaliation. Being clear about the level of protection that you have a right to can help you feel empowered to come forward with your allegations.
Know who to talk to
Depending on the type of wrongdoing you come across, there are different organizations that you may need to contact. If you think that you have come across a safety violation, then you will likely need to inform Occupational Safety and Health Administration. On the other hand, if you have an issue with wages or proper payment by an employer, you should contact the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor.
If you have come across wrongdoing but are unsure what to do about it, you do not have to allow uncertainty about the process to prevent you from acting. Various resources are available to assist whistleblowers, and you may have legal options if you face retaliation.