Profit is a strong motivator, but it can sometimes inspire people to make very bad decisions. Some companies will cut corners with worker safety or even openly break the law in order to maximize how much money they make.
For example, fraudulently billing insurance for services not provided could drastically increase the income of a medical practice. However, everyone who works at the practice could be subject to scrutiny if the federal government begins to investigate.
Individuals known as whistleblowers take the initiative to advise management or the government of illegal practices on the part of a company. Doing so entitles that person to certain protections because they choose to put doing what’s right ahead of doing what’s easy.
A company that breaks the law routinely can incur both legal and financial risk. Employees who warn management of the danger of such practices could potentially save the company millions of dollars in the long run. Unfortunately, many businesses are short-sighted when it comes to the impact of a whistleblower’s report. They may see it as damaging and try to remove that worker from their position. Whistleblowers have protection from retaliation, which includes getting fired, facing demotion or dealing with abuse on the job simply because they spoke up when they saw something wrong.
If you know that you may have to be a whistleblower, documenting your side of the situation carefully from the earliest steps can help protect you in the event that your employer retaliates against you.
If you have lost your job, taken a pay cut or otherwise been punished because you advised management of safety violations, illegal practices or workplace harassment and abuse that you either directly experienced or witnessed, you may need to take action against the company to prevent them from doing the same thing to someone else in the future.