To some, the term whistleblower brings up negative connotations. If you were to compare whistleblowers to a “rat” in a mafia movie, that would be a false equivalency. Whistleblowers provide a crucial service in the world of business and employment, ensuring that companies and even individual employees don’t misappropriate their power or positions for illegal or nefarious means.
Whistleblowers are also brave people that fill a critical role in the workplace, and they should never be seen as negative. They put their professional lives on the line, even though that sort of risk should never be associated with the act of honestly reporting illegal activity by a company or employee.
Many employers actually retaliate against whistleblowers, which is strictly forbidden by both state and federal law. Whistleblowers are given extensive legal protection for the role that they play in uncovering illegal activity by businesses, and for a company to violate these protections by trying to punish the whistleblower or to keep the whistleblower quiet is shameful.
It doesn’t even necessarily have to be a wrongful termination that the company uses to try to affect the whistleblower. A company could try to make the whistleblower work longer hours or even prevent him or her from doing his or her job.
These are unforgivable actions that necessitate a legal response from the victimized whistleblower. If you are a whistleblower and you have alerted the proper authorities about illegal actions by your company, it is wise to consult with an attorney to make sure your rights are upheld and protected.