An employee will be called a "whistleblower" if he has revealed his employer's unlawful actions. Some employees choose to remain silent though illegal operations are being done in the company because of their fear of being retaliated. Fortunately, they can now report these violations without being fired thanks to the implementation of the Whistleblower Protection Act (WPA).
WPA was made into law in 1989. It protects federal workers who have revealed improper or illegal activities of the government. Under it, "personnel action" cannot be done to a covered worker who has made a "protected disclosure."
Aside from WPA, other federal laws that provide protection to all employees, not just the ones who work in government agencies, include the following:
Â· Comprehensive Environmental Response
Â· Clean Air Act
Â· Energy Reorganization Act
Â· Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA)
All of these laws provide protection to workers who have complained about health or safety hazards, which are caused by their employer, in the environment or workplace. Employees will be protected as long as they have made the complaint due to a good-faith or sincere belief that their employer or co-employees violated the law.
In addition, it is required that these workers should have complained to their employer or an outside party, who declined to participate in the unlawful conduct or help in conducting a formal investigation regarding it.
How Can Employers Avoid Facing a Whistleblower Case?
Whistleblower claims or cases can damage a company's reputation and cause plenty of financial problems to employers. In order for them to avoid being involved in this situation, they should consider doing the following:
Â· Enforce a complaint evaluation policy- You should make and implement a complaint evaluation policy, which will be clearly understood by all of your employees. Under it, you can specify that retaliation will not be performed against employees who have filed a complaint.
Â· Investigate a complaint as soon as possible- You should thoroughly investigate a complaint filed by your employee immediately. If you determined that a violation was really performed in the workplace, make sure that you take the appropriate action that can correct it. Remember that your employees may be discouraged from reporting anomalies in the workplace if they see that you do not take them seriously. Instead of approaching you, they might directly seek legal help from government agencies.
Â· Do not be angry at the whistleblower- Do not get mad at an employee who has filed a complaint, though doing so will take a lot of effort on your part. Try to treat his complaint as a chance to eliminate problems and improve your business.