Written by Ravi Sattiraju on April 18, 2017
A whistleblower has an important job. As the individual who reports a company’s ethical, compliance, accounting, health, safety, labor, or environmental violations to the appropriate governing board, a whistleblower is tasked with providing sufficient evidence for his or her claim and working to pursue justice. A whistleblower’s success does not just affect him or her – it affects the company’s other employees, its shareholders, and the public.
The gravity of this role can make whistleblowing seem intimidating, but understand that if you have sensitive information about a violation that your company has committed, you have the responsibility to report it. Do not allow yourself to be blackmailed or bullied into turning a blind eye to the violations that are happening at your company.
Mistakes When Filing a Report
Avoid the following mistakes to ensure that your report goes smoothly and that you do not invalidate your claim by accident.
Going to the Press Before you File your Report
Although exposing your company’s violation over the internet or even on television can be tempting, you need to make your report and begin an investigation before you involve the press. If your company is found to be innocent, a news story of its alleged violation can destroy its reputation and land you back in court facing a libel charge.
Not Working with an Attorney
Chances are, you are not familiar with the legal process of filing a whistleblower claim or protecting yourself from retaliation. Before you make a claim, contact an experienced New Jersey whistleblower attorney to guide you through this process.
Telling your Employer
You are under no obligation to inform your employer about your whistleblower claim. If you think informing your employer of your intention could cause you to be terminated, do not inform him or her.
Failing to Gather Evidence
To make and support a whistleblower claim, you need evidence that the alleged wrongdoing actually happened. Create a file that includes all documentation that you have of your company’s violation. Without sufficient evidence, your claim is useless.
Waiving your Right to Make a Claim
Your company might provide you with a severance package that asks you to waive your right to make a whistleblower claim in exchange for continue salary and benefits after your termination. Do not accept this offer without first discussing it with your attorney and determining whether it is in your best interest.
Whistleblower Attorneys in New Jersey
As a whistleblower, you have the right to legal protection. This includes the right to continue your job without fear of retaliation from your employer after you make your report. For the legal support you need when you act as a whistleblower, contact The Sattiraju Law Firm, P.C. Our New Jersey whistleblower attorneys can walk you through the legal process of making a claim with the correct authority for your company’s violation and represent your claim if it has to go to court. Do not blow the whistle on your company alone – contact our firm to work on your case with us. Our firm’s experience with whistleblower cases includes winning a $560,000 trial in New Jersey.