Whistleblower Support – The Ultimate Guide

Discovering a crime within your workplace is a very difficult and stressful situation. It can lead to worries that impact your personal and professional life. Finding out that something or someone is not what they seem can be detrimental to your mental health and leave you uncertain about who else you can trust in your life. So, if you find yourself in a position where whistleblowing is your only option, what can you do to protect yourself, legally and mentally?

Whistleblower Protection Support By Lawyer Image1


What Is A Whistleblower?

There are many similar definitions of what a whistleblower is; however, in the simplest terms, it is someone who reports something that is illegal, immoral, fraudulent, or unsafe. The term whistleblowing relates to private or public organizations and not individuals, so you would not be whistleblowing if you called 911 about a neighbor or someone you saw in a store.

Whistleblowers will most often report on their employer or a company they are involved in as a volunteer. This is because there is more chance of someone finding something out about an organization they are heavily involved in rather than a passing acquaintance to a company.

However, there are occasions when you may discover something about an organization you do not work for. You can still follow the whistleblower process even if you do not work for the organization you are reporting.

 What Rights Do I Have As A Whistleblower?

You have rights as a federal employee under The Whistleblower Protection Act (WPA). The WPA makes it unlawful for any action to be taken against a federal employee in retaliation for correctly following the whistleblowing process.

Retaliation could include, but is not limited to, demotion, reduction in wages or responsibility, or termination of employment. You may also be entitled to compensation as a whistleblower if you discover a violation of the federal False Claims Act.

The Department for Justice takes complaints of retaliation against whistleblowers seriously, and countercomplaints can be filed if you have suspicions of retaliation. It is important that you understand your role and rights as a whistleblower to ensure that you remain protected by law throughout the process.

There are several criteria to be classified as a whistleblower, including who you work for and the information you have discovered and can provide evidence of. The most important criterion, however, is that you must be the first person to come forward and report the information you have to be established as a whistleblower with legal rights.

Legal Support

If you are at any time unsure of your legal responsibilities or protection, we recommend that you contact a company such as Oberheiden P.C. whistleblower attorney for DOJ employees. A company specializing in whistleblowing is the best option if you have any questions or need advice.

A whistleblower attorney will be able to help you legally establish if you meet the criteria to qualify as a whistleblower under the Whistleblower Protection Act. If you do not meet the criteria, you will not be given whistleblower status even if you provide evidence against an organization that could lead to prosecution.

A whistleblower attorney will have completed this process hundreds of times before, if not more. They are best placed to provide you with a timeline of what you can expect as a whistleblower and help you with the specifics of the process. The best way to combat any anxiety you are feeling about the process is to have a clear idea of what you can expect.

An attorney can also help you to prepare the disclosure to the DOJ and ensure that it is protected. They will ensure that any disclosure complies with the requirements under federal law for disclosures to the DOJ.

If you employ the services of a whistleblower attorney, they can discuss the disclosure with the DOJ on your behalf, removing some of the worry about the process for you. If you have never made a disclosure before, leave it in the hands of those who have years of experience in this area. The attorney will also be able to pursue a lawsuit on your behalf against the organization you have reported if the DOJ decides not to pursue this.

With so many pressures and anxieties around whistleblowing for employees, it can be beneficial to seek the services of a specialized attorney who can follow a process they know well and something you do not have experience in.

 Mental Health Support

Something that often goes overlooked in cases of whistleblowing is the mental health support needed by those making a disclosure. Over 80% of whistleblowers have experienced feelings of depression and anxiety throughout the process.

It is important to ensure that you are looking after your mental health throughout the whistleblowing process and that you seek appropriate advice when needed. This may be something that your employer provides; however, if you are hesitant about using an employee service, there is still help available.

There are several private and public organizations that can help with mental health support for whistleblowers. You can find more information about this online for the state that you live in. It is important to remember that although this experience can feel isolating, you are not alone.

We recommend that you seek advice and support legally and mentally when needed throughout the entire process of whistleblowing. From the initial identification of what you think could be illegal activity, you must ensure that you are doing the correct thing.

If at any time you fail to follow the correct procedure you could be putting your legal status and rights as a whistleblower at risk. Similarly, if you require mental health support, it is best to seek this quickly to ensure that you have support throughout the entire process and are not putting your mental or physical health at risk.

If you require any more information about whistleblowing processes and practices, there is information available via the Department of Justice’s website and via whistleblowing attorneys nationwide. Protect yourself while protecting others through whistleblowing.

Whistleblower Protection Support By Lawyer Image2


If you are interested in even more lifestyle-related articles and information from us here at Bit Rebels, then we have a lot to choose from.