You may have heard the term whistleblower before, but if not, it refers to someone who reports insider knowledge about illegal activities that are happening within an organization or company. Whistleblowers are protected against retaliation, which aims to help people decide to report illegal activities rather than ignoring them or leaving a position without making the issues known.
Whistleblowers don’t necessarily report to the same organizations every time. For example, the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, would want to know about violations of securities law. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration would want to know about safety violations at work.
Why would you want to be a whistleblower?
As a whistleblower, you may be helping to make your workplace safer or helping the government save money. By stepping up to report a violation, you may be taking a stand that allows a major problem to be corrected with appropriate oversight.
When you blow the whistle, there is also a chance that you could receive a reward for doing so. Since your job is protected by law, there should be no real risk to reporting a problem and blowing the whistle on your employer or others involved in an illegal act.
What kinds of rewards are there for whistleblowers?
There are a few kinds of rewards that whistleblowers may receive such as a percentage of the dollar amount that the government is able to recover after an illegal act is reported. For example, if you report your employer for fraud and the government is able to get back $1,000,000 in lost revenue, you may get a portion of that money. The amount may vary by case and depend on the total money recovered.
If you know your employer is doing something illegal, report it
If you know that your company or employer is committing fraud or participating in other illegal acts, you should report those problems to a regulating agency as soon as you can. If you blow the whistle, you should be protected against retaliation. If you are retaliated against, you may be able to pursue a lawsuit against your company.