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Whistleblowing Tip of the Day

On this page we will place tips that we believe will be useful. We will frequently add a new tip on this page and hope that you will return often to read them.


                                                                     Summary of TipsSummary of TipsAlphabetical Listing of Tips Topics

(Click on a Topic to see it, or scroll to the Summary of Tips below.)

AN EMPLOYER TRICK (#47)

APOLOGY (#26)

APPLICATION (Employment) (#35)

ASLEEP AT THE "SWITCH" (#55)

ASSUMPTIONS (#18)

BUILDING A FALSE RECORD (#52)

CAPITULATION (#4)

 COMPROMISING DISCUSSION (#37)

CONSCIENCE (#10)

DECEPTION (#27)

DEFAMATION/LIABLE/SLANDER/TORTIOUS INTERFERENCE (#51)

DECISION (#1)

DOUBLE-AGENT (#31)

EMPLOYMENT (#25)

ENTRAPMENT (#38)

FINALITY (#32)

FUTURE (#36)

ISOLATION (#28)

LOCKED-IN (#43)

LOOSE-LIPS (#45)

LOYALTY (#22)

MEMORY (#8)

MIRAGE or REALITY (#48)

MOTIVE (#24)

NEPOTISM (#21)

NEWS MEDIA (#19)

 OBSERVER (#41)

PARTICIPATION (#13)

PERSISTENCE (#20)

PREMATURE REACTION (#53)

PRETENSE THREAT (#54)

PROBATIONARY EMPLOYEE (#46)

PROTECTION (#30)

PRIVATE SECTOR VS. PUBLIC SECTOR (#49)

QUITTING (23)

RETALIATE (#5)

REVENGE (#3)

SETTLEMENT(#34)

SNOOPING (#50)

SPECIFICITY (#16)

SPOUSE (#42)

SUGGESTION (#44)

SURVEILLANCE (#7)

TAINTED (#11)

TECHNIQUE (#2)

TIMECARDS (#9)

TOGETHERNESS (#17)

TRUST (#6)

TRUTHFULNESS (#15)

VICTIM (#33)

 WITNESSES (#39)

 WITNESSES (Layoff) (#40)

WRITING (#12)

WRITTEN (#14)

WRONGDOING (#29)


Summary of TipsSummary of TipsSummary of Tips

(Details for each Tip are in the next Section below this Summary of Tips.)

NUMBER 55: ASLEEP AT THE "SWITCH":  Some whistleblowers who have litigation in Court and have an Attorney representing them, fail to periodically interact with their Attorney, fail to get copies of filed documents, fail to get information on how their case is progressing, and fail to gain a full understanding on what is to be done and when, by their Attorney in the litigation. Time passes quickly, and all of a sudden some whistleblowers suddenly find out, or are otherwise informed that, their case has been dismissed by the court for "Lack of Prosecution". This we call "being asleep at the switch"!

Click here to see explanation for this latest tip.

NUMBER 54: PRETENSE THREAT:  Sometimes a whistleblower will threaten to his or her employer that if something does not stop, or something does not change, or something does not happen, etc., that employee will supposedly blow-the-whistle to Government Authorities -- however, maybe the employee never really intends to go that far, only pretend that is the intention, and the employer then suspects that is the situation. Unfortunately, this type scenario could set the whistleblower up for a later pretext firing and result in the employer having a seemingly good pretext reason for the firing!

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NUMBER 53: PREMATURE REACTION:  Sometimes a whistleblower will adversely react to, or take some unwise/unnecessary premature action, simply because the employer does things like demands employee resign, or threatens to fire the employee, or intentionally embarrasses the employee in front of fellow workers, or uses "harsh" words when talking to the whistleblower, or inflicts upon the whistleblower a workplace "silent treatment", or some other aspect intended to cause the whistleblower to be disrespectful, or disobedient, or "to go off the deep end" or otherwise have some premature reaction. Whistleblowers should not fall victim to such employer strategy! 

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NUMBER 52: BUILDING A FALSE RECORD:  Some employers, after an episode of whistleblowing  by a whistleblower (maybe weeks or months later), will send that employee an E-mail or a memorandum, or other written communication, and express in that communication some concern about a matter that has nothing at all to do with the subject matter of the past whistleblowing event/episode. It may ask the whistleblower to come to that person's office for a meeting on that subject. Unless the whistleblower does something specific immediately after the meeting, the employer (manager/supervisor) can begin to "sow the seeds" that can successfully lead to the whistleblower's termination of employment!
 
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NUMBER 51: DEFAMATION/LIABLE/SLANDER/TORTIOUS INTERFERENCE:  Some whistleblowers, after they blow-the-whistle to the Government (Local, State, and/or Federal), or simultaneously, they go Public with their Whistleblowing. Sometimes they contact customers of their employer, or former employer, intending to "educate" them as to the alleged "goings on". Talk about a formula for whistleblower self-destruction, that surely is it!

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NUMBER 50: SNOOPING: If your Employer asks you to in effect "snoop" (secretly observe) upon another employee or group of employees, and secretly report back what they are doing or not doing, take the necessary precautions or you may find yourself soon unemployed!

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NUMBER 49: PRIVATE SECTOR VS. PUBLIC SECTOR: Sometimes it is difficult for a whistleblower to positively know whether his or her employer is in the Private (Business/Industry) Sector, or whether one's employer is in the Public (local, State, or Federal Government) Sector. There can be some entities that could be legally considered, for purposes of Whistleblowing protection statutes, as a Public rather than a Private Sector entity. For example, perhaps, but not absolute, a Contractor providing Transportation services in a City. The effect of choosing the wrong Statute to sue under, as a whistleblower, can be devastating. Sometimes even a person's Attorney can make the wrong choice with devastating adverse litigation results for the whistleblower!

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NUMBER 48: MIRAGE or REALITY: An important aspect in whether or not an act of blowing-the-whistle can become a "protected activity" often depends upon whether or not what the whistleblower blew-the-whistle on was in fact "wrongdoing" of some kind, thus a "reality"; or whether the circumstances are such that there really was no wrongdoing, thus a "mirage"!

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NUMBER 47: AN EMPLOYER TRICK: After an occurrence of employee whistleblowing, some  employers will create some workplace situation, seemingly not related to any matter that the employee blew-the-whistle on, for the purpose of creating a circumstance that can be used for firing the employee or imposing other disciplinary action!

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NUMBER 46: PROBATIONARY EMPLOYEE: An employee in a "probationary" employment status (usually for 90 days after starting employment) needs to be careful, by considering when to blow- the-whistle!

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NUMBER 45: LOOSE-LIPS: It is a tragic mistake to begin discussing, with fellow employees, in the workplace, matters of wrongdoing that have been observed; especially before the whistleblower decides what, if anything, he or she wants to do about the alleged wrongdoing!

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NUMBER 44:  SUGGESTION: If your employer ever asks you for your suggestions on what can be improved and/or what you don't like in your workplace, you could become a "hero" with your comments (if the employer's interest in your comments/suggestions is genuine), or you could soon become "unemployed" (if the employer is really seeking to find out which employees are "disgruntled/unhappy")!

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NUMBER 43:  LOCKED-IN: Whistleblowers who decide to have a lawsuit filed in a state or federal court sometimes fail to realize the consequences of possibly being locked-in to that litigation by a Contingency Fee Contract with an attorney.

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NUMBER 42:  SPOUSE: If your spouse also works for the same employer as you do, you can usually expect retaliation to occur to you, and sometimes to your spouse, after you blow-the-whistle!

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NUMBER 41:  OBSERVER: A tragic mistake is made by some non-supervisory/non-management employees who only witness something like sexual harassment in the workplace, but are not themselves the victim; however, they blow the whistle to management and may then be victimized by retaliation -- for which no whistleblowing protection may exist!

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NUMBER 40:  WITNESSES (Layoff): If persons who have been placed on layoff are contacted as potential witnesses for the whistleblower, there is the possibility that those potential witnesses will become "traitors"!

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NUMBER 39:  WITNESSES: It is a mistake to assume that fellow employees where you work or worked will testify in your behalf during any whistleblower litigation pursued in Court!

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NUMBER 38:  ENTRAPMENT: Do not fall for certain employer "antics" that could entrap you into a situation of being insubordinate and thereby give your employer grounds to fire you!

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NUMBER 37:  COMPROMISING DISCUSSION: It is a mistake of the most serious proportions for a whistleblower, after blowing-the-whistle, on employer wrongdoing, to then engage in workplace discussions with the employer, about voluntarily quitting one's job and voluntarily leaving employment in exchange for money (severance pay, etc.)!

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NUMBER 36:  FUTURE: Many whistleblowers focus their full attention and energy only upon their workplace situation and any employer retaliation that has or is taking place; however, they must also focus on future considerations as regards their professional career and future employment matters. Otherwise, even if they win the workplace "battle" they might ultimately still lose the future employment "war"!

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NUMBER 35:  APPLICATION (Employment): If a whistleblower was fired by a prior employer for blowing-the-whistle, on future employment applications, with reference to that prior employment, where it says "Reason for Leaving Employment" rather than saying "Fired", put on the Employment Application "Confidential in Nature -- Will discuss during Job Interview."

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NUMBER 34:  SETTLEMENT: Occasionally an employer will offer a settlement agreement after firing a whistleblower, or in order to get the whistleblower to leave his or her employment, or as a result of an out of court settlement. It is imperative that such Settlement Agreement contain certain matters, otherwise the whistleblower could face adversity for the balance of their entire professional working career!

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NUMBER 33:  VICTIM: Any adversity which may occur from whistleblowing should only be a finite event in one's life, not something that makes the whistleblower a "victim" for the rest of their life!

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NUMBER 32:  FINALITY: If a whistleblower signs a settlement agreement with his or her employer or former employer, it terminates the matter for all time; and it is dishonorable for the whistleblower to later want to pursue the controversy anew (unless the employer/former employer violates the settlement agreement terms)!

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NUMBER 31:  DOUBLE-AGENT: It is a truly "sleazy" thing to do, but sometimes another employee, whom a whistleblower thought was their friend, or a Supervisor or a Manager, will in actually be a "Double-Agent"; and in reality are merely a "despicable" conduit directly to one's employer -- beware!

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NUMBER 30:  PROTECTION: Some Whistleblowers, who are still employed and believe that there is a statute/law/regulation that gives them protection in their workplace for their whistleblowing,  may erroneously make themselves into a sort of fictional/imaginary "superhuman" who seemingly has the power to confront and take to task supervisors/managers; however that mistaken frame of mind if it exists, might well get the whistleblower fired on something that they might miscalculate on!           
                   

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NUMBER 29:  WRONGDOING: Whistleblowers sometimes mischaracterize things in the workplace as "wrongdoing" when they are not, and the results of this mischaracterization can subsequently have tragic results for the whistleblower! 

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NUMBER 28:  ISOLATION: This is one of the most commonly used retaliatory weapons, by employers, against whistleblowers.

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NUMBER 27:  DECEPTION: Whistleblowers are sometimes "tricked" into signing some document, like a request for transfer (that says it's voluntary but in reality it's involuntary), or admitting something that is not exactly factual, in exchange for a verbal promise that the employer will supposedly do something in exchange, or a promise that all will be okay. Beware -- disaster will surely follow!

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NUMBER 26:  APOLOGY: Whistleblowers who seek or expect a public or private apology from their employer or former employer, Government or Industry/Business, for retaliation or other adversity inflicted upon them, are wasting their time, their money, and their life! 

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NUMBER 25:  EMPLOYMENT: Whistleblowers, after being retaliated against by their employer and being fired, who are physically able to work but do not immediately aggressively seek replacement employment, may be due for an "eye opening shock"!

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NUMBER 24:  MOTIVE: There is a "good" motive and there is a "bad" motive to blow-the-whistle; however, the whistleblowing must be for the "right" motive!

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NUMBER 23:  QUITTING: Whistleblowers often, in the face of retaliation at work, quit their job; which can be a mistake!

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NUMBER 22:  LOYALTY: Whistleblowers (planning to do or already done) often mentally wrestle with the question of loyalty to one's employer, when in fact that should not be a question at all!

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NUMBER 21:  NEPOTISM: Anyone planning to blow-the-whistle, in a Private Sector (Business/Industry) workplace, on a "Nepotism" (one relative hiring another relative) situation, had better get their resume up to date, because they probably will soon need it to hunt for a new job! 

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NUMBER 20:  PERSISTENCE: With rare exceptions (for matters related to public health and/or public safety), the relentless pursuit by a whistleblower, after blowing-the-whistle to Government Authorities, to try and force the Government to prosecute an employer, may be an exercise in futility and one which tragically "self-destructs" the whistleblower! 

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NUMBER 19: NEWS MEDIA:  Don't expect the news media to always publish a newspaper story or TV segment that would portray you in a "favorable light; and never give the originals of any documents to a reporter to retain.

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NUMBER 18:  ASSUMPTIONS: Whistleblowers need to stick to the facts and document them fully!

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NUMBER 17:  TOGETHERNESS: If one or more of your fellow employees already know about suspected "wrongdoing" in the workplace, but urge/select/persuade you to be the one to blow-the-whistle, suggest instead that it be "jointly" done, not "individually done"!

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NUMBER 16:  SPECIFICITY: If your employer (supervisor or manager or higher) tells you they are going to correct a situation you have blown the whistle on, ask: "By when will you do that?" If the correction date is too far out, or they are noncommittal -- be suspicious!

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NUMBER 15:  TRUTHFULNESS: If your employer accuses you of blowing-the-whistle to an "outside organization or Government Agency" and you lie about it and say it was not you (when it was) then you may be giving your employer a perfect defense if you later allege whistleblowing retaliation by your employer!

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NUMBER 14:  WRITTEN: At any time after blowing the whistle, (or if you think your employer suspects you are going to blow the whistle,) if you are told by your employer (Supervisor, Manager, Personnel, etc.,) to go home and await further instructions/information -- Always get those "go home" (or don't come in tomorrow) instructions in writing!

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NUMBER 13:  PARTICIPATION: Do not participate in "wrongdoing" and expect to later excuse that evil by claiming: "my employer made me do it!"

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NUMBER 12: WRITING: Do consider, when blowing-the-whistle, to do so in written rather than just verbal form!

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NUMBER 11:  TAINTED: Don't try to gather evidence of wrongdoing and/or employer retaliation for whistleblowing, that you may never be able to use, and which might get you in trouble!

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NUMBER 10:  CONSCIENCE: Be mindful of your own conscience, lest you end up tormented for the rest of your life!

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NUMBER 9:  TIMECARDS: Be cautious that an electronic security system in the workplace does not bring "misery" into your life!

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NUMBER 8:  MEMORY: A Whistleblower's memory about events and facts relating to past occurrences, can become "faded" over time; but not if an accurate "tool," a "diary," is prepared and kept on a daily (or as often as needed) basis.

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NUMBER 7:  SURVEILLANCE: A Whistleblower should "take care" in the workplace because Employers have the means to detect certain things.

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NUMBER 6: TRUST: A Whistleblower's "blind" trust can lead to trouble!

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NUMBER 5: RETALIATE: It is not uncommon for an employer to retaliate against a whistleblower!

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NUMBER 4: CAPITULATION: Does it pay to try to right the workplace wrong(s) or should one just "play ball?" 

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NUMBER 3: REVENGE: Seeking to get "revenge" against an employer/former employer for being retaliated against for Whistleblowing, is a "two edged" sword that cuts both ways!

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NUMBER 2: TECHNIQUE: A Whistleblower should "look before they leap" because the manner of blowing-the-whistle often makes the difference between perhaps having whistleblowing Statutory/ Regulatory/or Judicial Case Law protection, or having none!

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NUMBER 1: DECISION: Choose the time, place, and manner/method of blowing-the-whistle!

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Summary of TipsSummary of TipsSummary of TipsExplanations

NUMBER 55: ASLEEP AT THE "SWITCH":  Some whistleblowers who have litigation in Court, and have an Attorney representing them, fail to periodically interact with their Attorney, fail to get and/or examine copies of all plaintiff and defendant(s) court filed documents, fail to get information from their Attorney on how their case is progressing, and fail to gain a full understanding on what is to be done and when, by their Attorney in the litigation. Time passes quickly, and all of a sudden some whistleblowers suddenly find out, or are otherwise informed that, their case has been dismissed by the court for "Lack of Prosecution". This we call "being asleep at the switch"!

Probably every civil court, whether State or Federal, has a Rule which prescribes that a civil case will be dismissed with prejudice [cannot be re-filed again -- only appealed to a higher Court] after a specified period (maybe a year, more or less) had expired with no activity/filings by the Plaintiff to demonstrate to the court that the case is being actively pursued. The dismissal by the court is for lack of plaintiff (his or her attorney) prosecution of the case, and the dismissal is usually preceded by an order from the trial court judge directing that the Plaintiff show cause why the Court should not dismiss the case for lack of prosecution. By the time the Plaintiff gets "hit" with a "show cause" order from the Court, the end of the case is almost assured, unless some extraordinary circumstances existed -- which they almost never do exist. So, just because you have an attorney, don't sit back and become guilty of "being asleep at the switch"!  


NUMBER 54: PRETENSE THREAT: Sometimes a whistleblower will threaten to his or her employer that if something does not stop, or something does not change, or something does not happen, etc., that employee will supposedly blow-the-whistle to Government Authorities -- however, maybe the employee never really intends to go that far, only pretend that is the intention, and the employer then suspects that is the situation. Unfortunately, this type scenario could set the whistleblower up for a later pretext firing and result in the employer having a seemingly good pretext reason for the firing!

First and foremost, never threaten to your employer that you will blow-the-whistle to Government Authorities, then when nothing changes, you do nothing. Because, if at a much later date you again threaten your employer on the same matter or something else, this time the employer is apt to immediately fire you in retaliation; using some other pretext reason for the firing. The employer will then merely say: "We didn't fire the employee in retaliation for his or her threatening to blow-the-whistle -- we don't do such things -- see, we didn't fire that employee the first time he or she threatened to blow-the-whistle." Thus, by the first "pretense threat", the employee set himself or herself up for later being fired, and provides to the employer what might be termed "a seemingly airtight alibi" for the employer retaliation.


NUMBER 53: PREMATURE REACTION:  Sometimes a whistleblower will adversely react to, or take some unwise/unnecessary premature action, simply because the employer does things like demands employee resign, or threatens to fire the employee, or intentionally embarrasses the employee in front of fellow workers, or uses "harsh" words when talking to the whistleblower, or inflicts upon the whistleblower a workplace "silent treatment", or some other aspect intended to cause the whistleblower to be disrespectful, or disobedient, or "to go off the deep end", or otherwise to have some premature reaction. Whistleblowers should beware and not fall victim to such employer strategy! 

All the adversities described above, have one thing in common -- they do not materially/significantly change the terms and conditions of the whistleblower's employment; therefore, one might say that they fall into the category of employer prerogatives or a sort of employer "free speech" argument. They don't, in and of themselves, change amount of pay, working hours, place of employment, job scope and responsibilities, etc. Thus, there is nothing that guarantees that an employer must be nice to an employee, or must talk "nice" to the employee, or cannot embarrass the employee, etc. (Of course, to be sure, any employer who does those "nasty" things is "stupid" and will never foster/promote any workforce loyalty or improve workforce productivity.) In sum total, so to speak, the employer actions described, are a form of psychological warfare which is intended to put the employee/whistleblower in a sort of psychological state of mind, in which employee good judgment becomes "clouded" by emotion, and the whistleblower prematurely reacts in some inappropriate fashion that then gives the employer a pretext to then fire the whistleblower for fabricated cause. So, in instances like those described, remain cool, calm, "smiling outwardly" and do not "bite on the dirty hook" that the employer is trying to throw into the "muddy workplace waters"!


NUMBER 52: BUILDING A FALSE RECORD:  Some employers, after an episode of whistleblowing  by a whistleblower (maybe weeks or months later), will send that employee an E-mail or a memorandum, or other written communication, and express in that communication some concern about a matter that has nothing at all to do with the subject matter of the past whistleblowing event/episode. It may ask the whistleblower to come to that person's office for a meeting on that subject. Unless the whistleblower does something specific immediately after the meeting, the employer (manager/supervisor) can begin to "sow the seeds" that can successfully lead to the whistleblower's termination of employment!

If the employer (manager, supervisor, etc.) expresses some concern in a written communication to the whistleblower, even if there is a meeting with management and an oral discussion thereat of that matter, the whistleblower should then promptly send management a written respectful memorandum (copy kept at home in a safe place) which makes reference to any meeting that took place, and summarizes what the whistleblower said; or otherwise fully responds to the management concern. That way, later, the whistleblower never gets into any "he said -- she said -- they said" difference of opinion over who supposedly said what at any meeting -- and the whistleblower can never be falsely successfully accused of supposedly failing to respond to some concern expressed by management, and/or there be a successful distortion of what was said/presented to management! Without this written record, the whistleblower may find later on, that either management created a "secret" closely held memo (to be used as evidence in the future) that distorts what took place or alleges falsely that the whistleblower was unresponsive or somehow was negligent in adequately responding to a management concern or concerns. 


NUMBER 51: DEFAMATION/LIABLE/SLANDER/TORTIOUS INTERFERENCE:  Some whistleblowers, after they blow-the-whistle to the Government (Local, State, and/or Federal), or simultaneously, they go Public with their Whistleblowing. Sometimes they contact customers of their employer, or former employer, intending to "educate" them as to the alleged "goings on". Talk about a formula for whistleblower self-destruction, that surely is it!

While Whistleblowing to Government Agencies, done in good faith, and with a reasonable belief that some wrongdoing has actually occurred, is usually a "protected disclosure", Whistleblowing to present or former customers of ones present or former employer, amounts to an open invitation for one's employer or former employer to sue the Whistleblower for Defamation and/or Liable and/or Slander and/or Tortious Interference with a Business Relationship. Some may believe that such Whistleblowing, if it contains the truth, that is a defense to any Defamation and/or Liable and/or Slander and/or Tortious Interference Claim/Litigation. The unfortunate reality is that proving something is true, is sometimes illusive; and truth is often open to interpretation. The moral of the story is, that any Whistleblower who strays outside Protected Disclosure channels, is flirting with their own professional and financial suicide!


NUMBER 50: SNOOPING:  If your Employer asks you to in effect "snoop" (secretly observe) upon another employee or group of employees, and secretly report back what they are doing or not doing, take the necessary precautions or you may find yourself soon unemployed!

Most employees will initially feel honored or special if their Employer asks them to be a sort of "Confidant" to find out for the Employer what other employees are doing or not doing. This is especially true if the Employer says that wrongdoing by an employee or other employees is suspected. If one undertakes willingly and unconditionally such a "snooping" role, there can be later complications arise. Often times the employer later will not keep the confidentiality of the identity of the employee who did the snooping, and other employees will find out. Or, other employees figure out who the "snooper" was. The end result is the ostracizing of the "snooper" by fellow employees, and often there arises in the workplace animosity and all sorts of trouble and discontent in the workforce. To solve the problem the Employer wrongly fires or places on layoff the "snooper" or "Confidant" to seemingly appease the other upset employees. Most "snoopers" or "Confidants" may wrongly assume that they will automatically have some Whistleblowing protection when they report to the employer the suspected wrongdoing perpetrated by other employees. The reality may be that they actually have no protection if the employer was not involved in, nor was supporting/tolerating that wrongdoing. Thus, there is a distinct difference between alleged wrongdoing committed by an employer and the alleged wrongdoing committed by employees without the employer's participation, support, or specific knowledge. Whistleblowing on the former situation could possibly be protected, whereas in the latter situation in all probability will not be protected. Whistleblowing protection is usually intended/designed to protect an employee from retaliation, who blows-the-whistle on wrongdoing being perpetrated by the employer (not wrongdoing which is unsupported by management and being perpetrated by a non-management/non-supervisory employee). So, the moral of the story is, unless you obtain a written guarantee in advance, from your Employer, of guaranteed continued employment in exchange for "snooping" or being a "Confidant", don't agree to undertake that role, which otherwise is surely going to be detrimental to your own employment!      


NUMBER 49: PRIVATE SECTOR VS. PUBLIC SECTOR: Sometimes it is difficult for a whistleblower to positively know whether his or her employer is in the Private (Business/Industry) Sector, or whether one's employer is in the Public (local, State, or Federal Government) Sector. There can be some entities that could be legally considered, for purposes of Whistleblowing protection statutes, as a Public rather than a Private Sector entity. For example, perhaps, but not absolute, a Contractor providing Transportation services in a City. The effect of choosing the wrong Statute to sue under, as a whistleblower, can be devastating. Sometimes even a person's Attorney can make the wrong choice with devastating adverse litigation results for the whistleblower!

Laws (Statutes) pertaining to Whistleblowing protection, often have different Statute of Limitations (Time in which to file a civil lawsuit) pertaining to Private Sector versus Public Sector employment. If for example, a lawsuit is initially filed by the Whistleblower (his or her Attorney) under Private Sector Statutes, but is dismissed some time later by the Court, because the Employer was in reality a Public Sector Employer, by then it may be too late to file a lawsuit under Public Sector Statutes, because the Statute of Limitations may have expired for a Public Sector lawsuit. The reverse could be true if one files a lawsuit under Public Sector Statutes, but it later turns out Private  Sector Statutes apply, but by then it may be too late to file a Private Sector Statutes Whistleblower lawsuit. If we ourselves hypothetically had a Whistleblower Cause of Action to file as a lawsuit, with us hypothetically as Plaintiffs, and if it was not absolutely, unquestionably, without any doubt whatsoever, and positively clear to us whether Public Sector or Private Sector Statutes apply, we would consider (after obtaining legal advice) possibly filing under both in the same lawsuit, but filing within the timeframe of the Statutes having the shortest Statute of Limitations; and give a good faith explanation to the Court why there might be confusion on which Statutes apply. Be aware that there can be confusion about whether some Public Sector Agencies are Public Sector or Private Sector as regards Whistleblowing protection statutes, because for some operations in the Entity, like Procurement, they may act like Private Sector entities, yet for other operations may act like Public Sector Entities. In any event, be "safe" rather than sorry as regards choosing the proper Statutes under which to bring a lawsuit, and beware of the Employer (or former employer) giving misleading indications on whether they are actually a Public or Private Sector Entity with regard to Whistleblowing matters and litigation!


NUMBER 48: MIRAGE or REALITY: An important aspect in whether or not an act of blowing-the-whistle can become a "protected activity" often depends upon whether or not what the whistleblower blew-the-whistle on was in fact "wrongdoing" of some kind, thus a "reality"; or whether the circumstances are such that there really was no wrongdoing, thus a "mirage"!

If a Whistleblower, having a good faith belief that wrongdoing has occurred, blows-the-whistle on a situation which involves public safety and/or public health, in all probability the Whistleblower may later be given the benefit of any doubt, and may end up having made a "protected disclosure" for which maybe/hopefully there will be a remedy for the Whistleblower if there is retaliation by the person or entity upon whom the whistle-was-blown; even if the Whistleblower was wrong and what looked like wrongdoing was not in fact such -- thus only a "mirage". However, if the matter involves other than public safety and/or public health, it is possible that a Whistleblower who blows-the-whistle on a situation that is in reality a "mirage" of wrongdoing, and there really is no illegality, chances are the Whistleblower may be "out in the cold" so to speak as regards any whistleblowing having been so called "protected Activity". Hence, the "moral of the story" is, to get competent and knowledgeable proper advice in advance, especially on non-public safety and/or non-public health situations, before blowing-the-whistle, to ensure that irreparable harm is not done to one's professional career and personal finances. Thus, find out in advance if the alleged wrongdoing perceived is actually real or just a mirage!


NUMBER 47: AN EMPLOYER TRICK: After an occurrence of employee whistleblowing, some  employers will create some workplace situation, seemingly not related to any matter that the employee blew-the-whistle on, for the purpose of creating a seemingly legitimate circumstance that can be used for firing the employee or imposing other disciplinary action!

The whistleblowing action may possibly have been a protected action by some Federal or State Statute, or Regulation, or Court Case precedent or Public Policy Exception to at-will-employment doctrine, etc. In order to attempt to defeat that protection, some employers (at some time after the whistleblowing incident has occurred) will create some situation like asking the employee to do something that the employee wrongly assumes may be improper and refuses to perform it, or "goads" the employee into being insubordinate or disrespectful to management/supervision, or does something else to make the employee commit an "offense" that is otherwise "punishable" under employer policy. Then, when the whistleblower later tries to bring litigation under whistleblowing protection for employer retaliation, the employer denies that it was retaliation and uses the artificially created "incident" (pretext situation) to attempt to defeat the whistleblower's court case. So, after whistleblowing, beware of this "trap" and get appropriate advice before being "victimized" by it!


NUMBER 46: PROBATIONARY EMPLOYEE: An employee in a "probationary" employment status (usually for 90 days after starting employment) needs to be careful, by considering when to blow- the-whistle!

If a probationary employee blows the whistle before completing probation and attaining "permanent employment" status, it is easier for the employer to retaliate and use an "invented" reason to terminate the employee's employment. One situation where an employee should blow the whistle while in a probationary employment status, would be if the employee has knowledge that the employer or someone in management or non-management is imminently creating a situation where there is a threat or danger to public health and/or public safety. Another reason for blowing-the-whistle in a probationary employee status is when the employee is being somehow forced to participate in some illegal act or wrongdoing, and delaying reporting the matter is not feasible; and delay could later imperil the employee/whistleblower in wrongdoing participation!


NUMBER 45: LOOSE-LIPS:  It is a tragic mistake to begin discussing, with fellow employees, in the workplace, matters of wrongdoing that have been observed; especially before the whistleblower decides what, if anything, he or she wants to do about the alleged wrongdoing!

By prematurely speaking to fellow employees, about alleged employer wrongdoing, not only does the whistleblower risk that someone might prematurely "squeal" to the employer to gain favor, but the whistleblower eliminates any possibility of later making an anonymous complaint because others will easily know the whistleblower's identity; and so will the employer. (Note: This tip does not mean that anonymous whistleblowing is appropriate in all situations).


 NUMBER 44: SUGGESTION:  If your employer ever asks you for your suggestions on what can be improved and/or what you don't like in your workplace, you could become a "hero" with your comments (if the employer's interest in your comments/suggestions is genuine), or you could soon become "unemployed" (if the employer is really seeking to find out which employees are "disgruntled/unhappy")!

Employers who have genuine interests in employee suggestions, have a formal suggestion program and always welcome suggestions/comments from employees at all times. Additionally, they have a program of employee recognition throughout the workplace, and publicized rewards for suggestions, that amount to a genuine thank you. On the other hand, if none of that formality and recognition exists, then it may be for an "ulterior" purpose that the employer suddenly, out of the blue, wants suggestions from an employee, or wants to know what the employee sees as wrong in the workplace!


NUMBER 43: LOCKED-IN: Whistleblowers who decide to have a lawsuit filed in a state or federal court, sometimes fail to realize the consequences of possibly being locked-in to that litigation by a Contingency Fee Contract with an attorney.

While a Contingency Fee Contract with an attorney (no attorneys fees payable to one's attorney if no win in court or no settlement is achieved -- however litigation costs and fees -- other than Attorney's Fees -- may still be payable) is usually a blessing, because it enables a whistleblower to undertake/commence litigation that he or she might not otherwise be able to afford if they had to use their own money upfront. On the other hand, there will probably be a provision in the Contingency Fee Contract that requires the whistleblower to pay the attorney all accumulated attorney's fees and costs if the whistleblower wants to drop the lawsuit but the whistleblower's attorney does not! So, the moral of the story is, that all whistleblowers who sign a Contingency Fee Contract with an attorney, are locked-in to that litigation and cannot get out of it without their attorney's concurrence/agreement; unless they "buy their way out"! Thus whistleblowers who commence Contingency Fee Contract litigation cannot later back out if they get discouraged, upset, or want to just walk away -- they are "locked-in for the duration of the litigation. Thus, do not start something (Contingency Fee Contract litigation) unless you are positive that no matter what later happens, you will never want to "back out/abandon ship"!


NUMBER 42: SPOUSE: If your spouse also works for the same employer as you do, you can usually expect retaliation to occur to you, and sometimes to your spouse, after you blow-the-whistle!

Whistleblowers, with spouses who work for the same employer, often neglect to consider the probable consequences to their spouse, in a whistleblowing situation. It is a mistake to assume that the spouse will not be considered as a "whistleblowing accomplice" by the employer, even though that spouse takes no part in the whistleblowing (and on rare occasions may even not be in agreement with blowing-the-whistle)! The moral of this story is, to be smart and plan ahead -- sometimes anonymous whistleblowing is the solution for avoiding an employer's retaliation to both the whistleblower and spouse -- however, the potential success of this strategy depends on many things like how many employees there are, whether the employer can easily detect who blew the whistle, etc.


NUMBER 41: OBSERVER: A tragic mistake is made by some non-supervisory/non-management employees who only witness something like sexual harassment in the workplace, but are not themselves the victim; however, they blow the whistle to management and may then be victimized by retaliation -- for which no whistleblowing protection may exist!

There is a vast difference between being the victim of something and merely observing that something adverse is happening to someone else. The actual "victim" may be protected from retaliation for blowing-the-whistle on the wrongdoing; whereas, an "observer" might not have any protection from retaliation for reporting the "observation" to the employer. Therefore, while it might be appropriate, behind the scenes, for the "observer" to confidentially encourage the "victim" to get legal advice, if the "observer" himself or herself blows-the-whistle, it may be employment "suicide" for the "observer", or result in employer retaliation against the observer -- for which there might not be any whistleblowing protection -- because the "observer" was not the original victim of the sexual harassment! Besides, suppose the "observer" blows the whistle but then the victim lies and denies there ever was sexual harassment (because they fear employer retaliation and/or job loss). That leaves the "observer" who blows-the-whistle, "up the creek in a canoe, without any paddle"!


NUMBER 40:  WITNESSES (Layoff): If persons who have been placed on layoff are contacted as potential witnesses for the whistleblower, there is the possibility that those potential witnesses will become "traitors"!

Whistleblowers (or their attorney) sometimes contact employees who have been placed on layoff by the whistleblower's employer (former employer) thinking that they will help the whistleblower. However, in many cases the laid off employee sees the situation as one in which they can gain favor with the employer and perhaps get recalled back to work -- by 'blabbing" all to the employer. This seldom if ever works -- if anything, almost guaranteeing that the laid off worker will never be recalled -- but the tragic thing is that the employer (former employer) gets valuable information from the laid off employee on the whistleblower's strategy and all that is being said and done. Thus the laid off employee becomes a "traitor" to the whistleblower! The reason the laid off employee probably will not be rewarded by the employer (by recall to work) is that the laid off employee demonstrates that they will be disloyal to a fellow worker or anybody else, for purposes of self enrichment -- thereby making them untrustworthy -- and the employer would fear that their loyalty might again switch in the future.


NUMBER 39:  WITNESSES: It is a mistake to assume that fellow employees where you work or worked will testify in your behalf during any whistleblower litigation pursued in Court!

Whistleblowers mistakenly assume that just because a fellow worker, or a worker still employed at the whistleblower's former place of employment, has said things privately to the whistleblower, like knowing the whistleblower was "wronged", that does not mean the person will testify as a witness and possibly jeopardize their own employment. Additionally, whistleblowers who proceed to litigation should use utmost caution in requiring any fellow employees to testify, because the employment of the witness can be jeopardized! If a fellow employee testifies for the whistleblower, even involuntarily, what's to stop the employer from retaliating against that witness. So the moral of the story is, if you don't already have an affidavit from a fellow employee witness, most likely they will later refuse to voluntarily come forward in your behalf, and you will be left embarrassed, angry, and perplexed at that occurrence! Former employees can make the best witnesses for the whistleblower, because they are "beyond the reach" of their former employer, thus have nothing to lose by their truthful testimony. (However, see Number 40 with regard to employees on lay-off.)


NUMBER 38:  ENTRAPMENT: Do not fall for certain employer "antics" that could entrap you into a situation of being insubordinate and thereby give your employer grounds to fire you!

Once a whistleblower has blown the whistle, it is often a favorite trick of the whistleblower's Supervisor and/or Manager to do one or more of the following things:

Not saying good morning to the whistleblower; but saying it to all others in the vicinity;

Criticizing the whistleblower's work in a voice loud enough to be heard by others in the vicinity;

Doing favors for others but never the whistleblower;

Relaying instructions to the whistleblower through other employees, as though the whistleblower were no longer worthy of being communicated with directly by the Supervisor and/or Manager;

Giving the whistleblower almost impossible tasks to accomplish in a reasonable period of time, and loading the whistleblower with a huge amount of work to do;

Etc.

These, and other, Supervisor/Management immature and distasteful actions, are all intended to cause the whistleblower to "erupt" and blurt out something that will be disrespectful and insubordinate -- thereby achieving the intended management purpose of getting the whistleblower fired! The whistleblower must "keep his or her cool", smile a lot, try to continue to do the best job they can, and under no circumstances "disrespectfully talk back"! Likewise, do not criticize a supervisor, a manager, or the employer, to a fellow worker in or out of the workplace, because that person might "squeal" to management to gain personal favor; and management will then have the "goods on" the whistleblower for termination action! Often times, when management sees that its efforts to get the whistleblower to be disrespectful, have failed, they will tire of "playing those games" and will give up those antics. However, if the whistleblower complains to management about the "treatment", that only gives the perpetrators renewed joy and pleasure, thus they are motivated to continue with their "childish foolishness"!


NUMBER 37:  COMPROMISING DISCUSSION: It is a mistake of the most serious proportions for a whistleblower, after blowing-the-whistle, on employer wrongdoing, to then engage in workplace discussions with the employer, about voluntarily quitting one's job and voluntarily leaving employment in exchange for money (severance pay, etc.)!

An employer can "set a trap" for the whistleblower, by having discussions about supposedly giving the employee money to "get rid" of that employee. The whistleblower might orally agree to accept such "payment" but the agreement might not be finalized in writing (nor the employer admit in writing that it was the employer who initiated the payment discussions in the first place). The employer then might turn around and fire the whistleblower on a pretext (but really in retaliation for the whistleblowing). Then, when the whistleblower sues in court for the retaliation, the employer swears that in the employer's opinion the whistleblower was just trying to extort money from the employer, in exchange for employee silence and employee "walking away"! This "employer ruse" when combined with a concocted employer story that the whistleblower is supposedly an evil person, could cause a judge to dismiss the whistleblower's case or, if the matter gets to trial, the jury might assume the whistleblower only had an interest in "hush money" and not any alleged  wrongdoing that was supposedly being perpetrated by the employer. Thus, such discussions (the whistleblower receiving money to walk away from employment) could well later jeopardize any whistleblowing protection that the whistleblower might otherwise have! The moral of the story is, never give the employer a means to concoct a "story" alleging attempted whistleblower "extortion" of money!


NUMBER 36:  FUTURE: Many whistleblowers focus their full attention and energy only upon their workplace situation and any employer retaliation that has or is taking place; however, they must also focus on future considerations as regards their professional career and future employment matters. Otherwise, even if they win the workplace "battle" they might still ultimately lose the future employment "war"!

The old adage about "Just take it one day at a time" does not apply in whistleblowing situations. The whistleblower must constantly think ahead and plan, both short and long range. The whistleblower must hypothesize about the possibility of losing current employment and plan "how best" to then locate new employment if the worst should happen. The whistleblower must never settle an old/former workplace situation without getting the prior employment record "cleaned up". See Tip Number 34 below. While genuinely blowing-the-whistle is an admirable and courageous act, trying to unnecessarily "incinerate" the reputations of many others (in retaliation for the grief caused to the whistleblower by others) is "foolhardy" and destructively injurious to the whistleblower's professional future! The whistleblower should say what needs to be said and professionally do what needs to be done, but "slinging mud" in the process only drags the whistleblower down into the "gutter" and makes future potential employers wary of hiring that whistleblower. A blowing-of-the-whistle in a mature, professional, factual, and responsible way, without visible emotion and without vindictiveness, is the way to do it. That may enhance the worth of the whistleblower to a future prospective employer; who, unlike the whistleblower's former employer, may well appreciate that the whistleblower has the honesty and the courage to preclude the employer from having a wrongdoing situation in their workplace and employees remaining silent and letting the employer suffer the legal consequences when the wrongdoing is eventually discovered by Government authorities!


NUMBER 35:  APPLICATION (Employment): If a whistleblower was fired by a prior employer for blowing-the-whistle, on future employment applications, with reference to that prior employment, where it says "Reason for Leaving Employment", rather than saying "Fired", put on the Employment Application "Confidential in Nature -- Will discuss during Job Interview."

Whenever a potential employer sees the word "fired" in an employment application, in all probability that is immediately the end of any consideration of that application. On the other hand, a "Confidential in Nature" might at least get a whistleblower to the interview stage; where the circumstances can be briefly and unemotionally explained, if questioned about it. Take care however, during any job interview, not to "bad-mouth" the employer who fired you -- since prospective employers do not like prospective employees who "go out of their way" to say bad things about prior employers!


NUMBER 34:  SETTLEMENT:  Occasionally an employer will offer a settlement agreement after firing a whistleblower, or in order to get the whistleblower to leave his or her employment, or as a result of an out of court settlement. It is imperative that such Settlement Agreement contain certain matters, otherwise the whistleblower could face adversity for the balance of their entire professional working career!

A Settlement Agreement should always be reviewed by the Whistleblower's personal Attorney before the whistleblower signs it; however, make sure the attorney has extensive experience with employment cases Settlement Agreements. Make sure that the Settlement Agreement binds the employer, affiliates, agents, attorneys, business units, directors, divisions, employees, insurers, joint ventures, officers, owners, parent corporation, representatives, servants, subsidiaries, successors, and all persons acting by, through, under, or in concert with any or all of them. Make sure the Settlement Agreement requires the company to immediately purge from all its records and files, and destroy, all documents that contain adverse information and/or allegations about the whistleblower. Make sure the Settlement Agreement requires the Company to give a good (or at least  a "neutral") employment reference in the future, for the whistleblower, whenever they are contacted by or on behalf of a future prospective employer from whom the whistleblower seeks (or already has) employment. Make sure the Settlement Agreement requires the Company to reflect in its personnel records that the employment ended by "employee resignation" (not termination of employment or any other adverse reason). Make sure the Settlement Agreement provides for payment of Attorney's Fees, Costs, and Damages to a party who prevails in court, who instituted litigation for any violation of the terms of the Settlement Agreement. The whistleblower must think well beyond the Settlement timeframe and be concerned with what will happen as new employment is sought elsewhere; and what skeletons will "haunt" and/or impede the whistleblower in the future, if the Settlement Agreement is not properly and adequately worded to provide for the whistleblower's professional working future!


NUMBER 33:  VICTIM:  Any adversity which may occur from whistleblowing should only be a finite event in one's life, not something that makes the whistleblower a "victim" for the rest of their life!

A tragic mistake is made by many whistleblowers who have been retaliated against by their employers. They continually think of themselves as "victims" and they repeatedly, even months or years after the retaliation occurrence, still think about and see themselves as "victims"; and in effect sort of "drown" in their own unnecessary self imposed "pity". Then, that adversely affects relationships with family, friends, and associates! In truth, it is not until the whistleblower stops thinking of themselves as a "victim" that they can move beyond the adversity and begin to "heal" and become a productive person, having the joy of life and everyday living restored to themselves. By not remembering the whistleblowing only with a sense of pride in having done the honorable thing, some whistleblowers instead focus entirely on any adversity that developed, tragically letting that overshadow all else, to the detriment of their mental well-being and happiness. So, do let go of the "I am a victim" thoughts, (and you will be letting go of memories of events that can only plunge you into mental despair); otherwise, the beauty and happiness of a refreshed life, with joy of family, friends and peers, will regrettably elude you!


NUMBER 32:  FINALITY: If a whistleblower signs a settlement agreement with his or her employer or former employer, it terminates the matter for all time; and it is dishonorable for the whistleblower to later want to pursue the controversy anew (unless the employer/former employer violates the settlement agreement terms)!

Is not uncommon for whistleblowers who have settled a civil lawsuit before filed or after, to later in thinking about things, change their minds and then want to go back and "get the defendant/former employer". We are inclined to believe that it is too late, once a confidentiality settlement agreement is reached, to go back and start again! Since some settlements are specifically intended to compensate a victim for an employer's civil wrongdoing, once having been compensated, we think it is ill advised to want to then in effect "continue the battle against the employer". It is not uncommon for whistleblowers to lament and later say, "but I only now want to make sure the employer never does this to anybody else!" If one truly has such a motivation, then they should have resisted/refused settlement until such time as the employer's alleged conduct was fully made public and all other employees made aware of the alleged "goings-on" as regards the employer's wrongdoing, and the public-at-large also informed. For a person to knowingly sign a confidentiality agreement, promising not to reveal the employer's alleged civil (as opposed to criminal) wrongdoing, in exchange for the payment of money, taking the employer's money, then later saying "Now that I have the money I want to renege on what I promised", is to us a less than honorable thing to do. It does not matter in the least whether the amount of money offered by the former employer and accepted by the former employee was supposedly (in the whistleblower's later perception) too little or not. That cannot be a later issue on which to instigate what might be a unilateral disregard of what amounts to a signed contract between former employer and employee. In our perception, it is a common (and we presume legitimate/lawful practice) for employers who have "civilly wronged" (discrimination, false accusation, slander, etc.) an employee, to monetarily compensate the employee for the wrong and bind the employee to confidentially.


NUMBER 31:  DOUBLE-AGENT: It is a truly "sleazy" thing to do, but sometimes another employee, whom a whistleblower thought was their friend, or a Supervisor or a Manager, will in actually be a "Double-Agent"; and in reality are merely a "despicable" conduit directly to one's employer -- beware!

The "ruse" perpetrated upon the whistleblower works this way. The worker, supervisor or manager pretends to be privately friendly and overly sympathetic with the whistleblower; and even goes so far as to "bad mouth" another worker, supervisor, manager, executive management or top management who is causing the whistleblower much trouble. This criticizing technique is truly a "melt the heart of the whistleblower" and "breaks down" the whistleblower's natural tendency to be "cautious"! The whistleblower then sees the "double-agent" as a great friend and confidant whom the whistleblower eagerly tells all to, and even tells what they may be planning to do. Behind the whistleblower's back, this "double-agent" goes back to the employer/management and tells every word that the whistleblower said. The "double-agent's" motivation is to curry favor with the employer and reap some sort of instant or later reward! The "poor" unsuspecting whistleblower, who thought they were having a confidential conversation with a "confidant" may discover too late (or maybe never) that they were "double-crossed" and betrayed by someone who had pretended to be a friend but was in reality the employer's "spy". Of course, there are exceptions to all this, and a perceived workplace friend might in fact be a true and loyal friend after all -- however, the stakes are too high for a whistleblower to make a mistake in this matter -- so, it may be best to "keep one's mouth shut" and not even risk being betrayed in the workplace!


NUMBER 30:  PROTECTION: Some Whistleblowers, who are still employed and believe that there is a statute/law/regulation that gives them protection in their workplace for their whistleblowing,  may erroneously make themselves into a sort of fictional/imaginary "superhuman" who seemingly has the power to confront and take to task supervisors/managers; however, that mistaken frame of mind if it exists, might well get the whistleblower fired on something that they might miscalculate on!

  When there is some statute/law/regulation that provides whistleblowing protection, in our view, it does not remove from management/supervisors their normal, legitimate and lawful prerogatives -- it just means that they cannot adversely change the terms and conditions of the Whistleblower's employment. In our view, it does not mean that the employer cannot fire the whistleblower for legitimate and lawful cause unrelated to the whistleblowing (i.e., insubordination, theft of employer property, intentional violation of employer written policies and/or procedures, etc.). Further, whistleblowing protection does not mean that the employer must be "nice" to the whistleblower. It does not mean that the employer has to give the employee any overtime not mandated by rule, regulation, law or contract. Whistleblowing protection does not mean many other things. The moral of the story is, not to become complacent and "invincible thinking" just because you believe you may qualify for whistleblowing protection -- because it is not "absolute" for everything!


NUMBER 29:  WRONGDOING: Whistleblowers sometimes mischaracterize things in the workplace as "wrongdoing" when they are not, and the results of this mischaracterization can subsequently have tragic results for the whistleblower! 

A supervisor or manager, who makes unreasonable (but not unlawful) requests/demands, or who does not speak pleasantly to his (or her) subordinates, or who erroneously says an employee can be fired by him (or her) when actually they might not have such unilateral authority -- and the like -- is committing "insensitive" and abominable acts; however, those acts do not rise to the level of "wrongdoing" in the "traditional" sense. Wrongdoing is breaking/violating a Federal, State, or Local Government law, rule, or regulation, or violating an Employer's lawful rules, regulations, policies, or procedures. So, before blowing-the-whistle on any situation that amounts only to matters of insensitivity and/or abomination, and expecting any whistleblowing protection for that, think twice about the adverse retaliatory consequences that might result, for which you may have no whistleblowing protection! 


NUMBER 28:  ISOLATION: This is one of the most commonly used retaliatory weapons, by employers, against whistleblowers.

Many employers, knowing that if they outright fire a whistleblower, it might lead to litigation, they take a sort of indirect approach. They stop the whistleblower from attending all meetings, conferences, training, and prescribe such limited duties for the whistleblower that almost all contact with fellow employees, supervisors, and management is terminated. Additionally, for hourly employees, they terminate all overtime. Employers hope that the resulting "isolation" will so discourage the whistleblower as to make that employee quit. If a whistleblower is placed in "isolation" it should be interpreted as a distinct sign that the employer wants to "get rid" of the employee, and the isolation is probably permanent rather than temporary.


NUMBER 27:  DECEPTION: Whistleblowers are sometimes "tricked" into signing some document, like a request for transfer (that says it's voluntary but in reality it's involuntary), or admitting something that is not exactly factual, in exchange for a verbal promise that the employer will supposedly do something in exchange, or a promise that all will be okay. Beware -- disaster may surely follow!

Any and all  employer promises, that are not reduced to writing and signed by the employer, are ones that may never happen, or the employer (its supervisory/management employees) may later deny any such promise/promises were made, or assert that the whistleblower supposedly misunderstood what was said. The moral of the story is -- get all employer promises in writing first, before you agree with, commit to, or sign anything! Better yet, get it in writing first, have your lawyer look at it before you sign any agreement or settlement, to make sure there are no omissions and no "loopholes"!


NUMBER 26:  Apology: Whistleblowers who seek or expect a public or private apology from their employer or former employer, Government or Industry/Business, for retaliation or other adversity inflicted upon them, are wasting their time, their money, and their life! 

In truth, employers rarely if ever apologize. Even when caught "red handed" in wrongdoing, and if civilly or criminally prosecuted by the Government, they pay the fine (sometimes millions of dollars) but publicly say they do not admit any wrongdoing (and thus they do not apologize to anyone). Whistleblowers must understand that most all employers will in most instances "fight to the death" so to speak, rather than be forced to apologize to a whistleblower; however, employers/former employers sometimes will offer a monetary settlement but still adamantly refuse to apologize. It is a foolish whistleblower who adamantly refuses to accept any money settlement without an apology, instead of wisely unilaterally considering the money settlement as an apology. A whistleblower who vehemently makes a demand for an apology and emphatically states he or she will accept nothing less, is one who has let "self ego" overshadow all as a foolish emotion, instead of letting reality and logic be the catalyst that puts a mutually satisfying end to the controversy!     


NUMBER 25:  Employment: Whistleblowers, after being retaliated against by their employer and being fired, who are physically able to work but do not immediately aggressively seek replacement employment, may be due for an "eye opening shock"!

We are aware of something called "The Mitigation of Damages Doctrine" which, based upon our understanding, means that a fired employee who intends to sue for back pay damages/recovery is obligated to aggressively seek replacement employment so as to lessen the financial damages upon the employer. (Yes, we know, it is seemingly bizarre that an employer who unlawfully fires an employee, maybe is going to get the advantage of the employee's replacement employment wages reducing the amount of back pay the "lawbreaking" employer has to pay if the employee wins a back pay lawsuit.) The eye opening shock comes when a whistleblower, who is physically able to work, but intentionally sits home thinking that no employment wages means the former employer gets no financial benefit, may discover that "equivalent wages" will be calculated, based upon employer proof that there was replacement employment available in the local community which the whistleblower did not avail himself or herself of, and the theoretical/presumed  equivalent wages may be subtracted from any back pay award won in court by the whistleblower. Whistleblowers should definitely check out this aspect with their attorney to get any needed clarification, interpretation, and instructions in the matter!


NUMBER 24: MOTIVE:  There is a "good" motive and there is a "bad" motive to blow-the-whistle; however, the whistleblowing must be for the "right" motive!

If the whistleblower is seeking revenge, or seeking to get rid of someone so they can get that person's job, or seeking for whatever reason to destroy an employer, that is whistleblowing for a "bad" motive. A bad motive will usually have dire consequences for the whistleblower and is self-destructive. On the other hand, if the whistleblower seeks to genuinely stop "wrongdoing" or prevent injury to the health and/or safety of the public, or seeks to stop evil/lawbreaking from taking place, that is a "good" motive. The "right" motive is one that is a benefit to others, especially Society!


NUMBER 23:  Quitting: Whistleblowers often, in the face of retaliation at work, quit their job; which can be a mistake!

If subsequent litigation develops over the alleged workplace retaliation, and the whistleblower sues for reinstatement with back pay and other damages, the whistleblower having quit their job, necessitates the complicated burden of later proving that the workplace circumstances were really so egregious as to force the whistleblower to quit (constructive discharge). On the other hand, having been fired is surely an undisputable fact -- the "why" is then the only principal controversy. Of course, if a whistleblower is physically and/or mentally "endangered" in the workplace, then the only alternative might be to quit; but short of "endangerment" being the situation -- quitting ones job may give the employer an undeserved benefit in any subsequent litigation.  


NUMBER 22:  LOYALTY: Whistleblowers (planning to do or already done) often mentally wrestle with the question of loyalty to one's employer, when in fact that should not be a question at all!

With regard to: "loyalty to the employer and debt of honor," if an employer (its management/supervisory personnel) are involved in wrongdoing/fraud/retaliation/discrimination/etc., being perpetrated by and/or condoned even at the highest level of the Company/Organization, then the employer has "broken" an unspoken/unwritten vow of honesty and fairness and honor owed its employees and society. Every employer (Private Sector -Business/Industry and Public Sector - Local Government/State Government/Federal Government -Executive/Legislative/Judicial Branches of Government) have a moral and ethical duty to their Employees and to the Public/Society to run an honest and moral workplace. Under workplace circumstances where that is not the way it is, how can employees remain silent and not "blow the whistle", or needlessly feel disloyalty in any way! Employer loyalty deserves employee loyalty in return; but loyalty cannot be a "one way street" -- flowing only from employee to employer -- loyalty absolutely must flow both ways! 

The principle argument that destroys the so called "vindictiveness of whistleblowing" theory (which is flawed), is to imagine an employee discovers something that is a real and serious threat to public safety and/or public health, being done by the employer. How can it supposedly be "vindictive" and/or "disloyal" to blow-the-whistle and save the lives of innocent people! Or, if the employer is cheating people, or the public, or cheating the Government, or doing other things that violate Federal, State, or Local Laws,  how can it be disloyal to put a stop to that! "Pray tell", what loyalty is owed to lawbreakers!


NUMBER 21:  NEPOTISM: Anyone planning to blow-the-whistle, in a Private Sector (Business/Industry) workplace, on a "Nepotism" (one relative hiring another relative) situation, had better get their resume up to date, because they probably will soon need it to hunt for a new job! 

Nepotism in private business/industry is somewhat "relative" in that the smaller the business the more acceptable Nepotism becomes. In a small family run business, Nepotism is certainly acceptable and often expected. The larger the business the more society frowns upon that practice. While in the Public Sector (Government - Federal, State, Local) there are laws, rules, and regulations against nepotism, we are not aware of any Federal, State, or Local, law, public rule or regulation that "outlaws" nepotism in Private Business/Industry. Even where a private sector business may have its own personnel rule/regulation making nepotism prohibited/unacceptable we are not sure that any Court is going to enforce such a rule or even give an employee any judicial means to remedy a workplace nepotism situation.

As regards blowing-the-whistle in a private sector business/industry on a nepotism situation, that is often something that usually leads to disastrous consequences for the whistleblower. Sure the company may do the right thing (sometimes reluctantly) and get rid of the family member who was wrongly hired and who caused a prohibited nepotism situation; however, the "working level" managers/supervisors are likely to then "make life miserable" for the whistleblower and retaliate, sometimes in "bold" and sometimes in "subtle" ways.

Bottom line on the Nepotism subject is: In the Private Sector workplace, unless the Nepotism situation is directly depriving you of money for food, shelter, clothing, transportation, etc., then it is better to "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil"! (A Public Sector - Federal, State, and Local Government levels - it is a different story, because Nepotism may violate the law and Public Policy, thus may be "worthy" of having the whistle blown on it.)


NUMBER 20: PERSISTENCE: With rare exceptions (for matters related to public health and/or public safety), the relentless pursuit by a whistleblower, after blowing-the-whistle to Government Authorities, to try and force the Government to prosecute an employer, may be an exercise in futility and one which tragically "self-destructs" the whistleblower!

All too often whistleblowers mistakenly think that if the Government does not prosecute, the whistleblower has somehow "failed". This sometimes  obsessive/compulsive view often then becomes an all consuming thing in life for the whistleblower, and as a result the whistleblower's daily life becomes seemingly filled with needless "misery and anger". During the period of time that all this lasts, whistleblowers (by their own unnecessary thoughts and post-whistleblowing actions) might not "heal" from their adverse workplace experiences and may not return to a "meaningful and productive life". The thoughts that the whistleblower should adopt and cherish is that an honorable and moral thing was done by blowing-the-whistle, and whether Government prosecution results or not, the whistleblower fulfilled a duty to self, to family, to country, and to the Almighty. As humans we can only do so much -- and when we do the right thing like whistleblowing, we must not be so consumed by it that it becomes the "rest of our life" rather than just an "occurrence in our life"! The moment that a whistleblower stops seeing himself or herself as a "victim" is the moment that the "healing process" begins!


NUMBER 19:  News Media: Don't expect the news media to always publish a newspaper story or TV segment that would portray you in a totally "favorable light" as a whistleblower; and never loan or give the originals of any documents to a reporter to borrow or retain.

There are very few instances these days where any "investigative reporting" actually takes place; so most likely a reporter will interview both the whistleblower and the employer who is the subject of the whistleblower's public allegations. Then the reporter will most likely include anything negative about you that your employer reveals to, or furnishes, to the reporter. Some reporters strive only for what they deem a "balanced story" by seemingly giving readers and/or viewers equal amounts of both positives and negatives, without regard to whether or not the negative information from the employer, about the whistleblower, is accurate, complete, and the total truth.  With regard to documents, accidental loss of any originals or copy of a document that the whistleblower had in his or her possession, could later be devastating to the whistleblower if they are lost and cannot be produced for Government authorities and/or in Court. So always keep the originals, or an only copy of documents, safeguarded under your control, and do not loan them or give them to reporters who would take them out of your sight and control.


NUMBER 18:  ASSUMPTIONS: Whistleblowers need to stick to the facts and document them fully!

There is a tendency sometimes for whistleblowers to assume things they do not know, and/or to fill in any "gaps" in information with suppositions and innuendo. This tends to later discredit the whistleblowers complaint and makes it easier for "wrongdoers" to "explain away" some or all of the allegations. Be factual, be as thorough as possible, be without visible emotion in the written complaint, and be without visible malice.  


NUMBER 17:  TOGETHERNESS: If one or more of your fellow employees already know about suspected "wrongdoing" in the workplace, but urge/select/persuade you to be the one to blow-the-whistle, suggest instead that it be "jointly" done, not "individually done"!

There often can be "safety in numbers" so to speak. The more persons that simultaneously "blow-the-whistle" on the same matter, the more difficult it is for the employer to ignore the complaint or to retaliate against the whistleblower. (However, be mindful of Tip Number 6 below!) Another aspect is that sometimes employees who say to the whistleblower before the whistle is blown, that they fully support and will assist the whistleblower, later on, after the whistle is blown, some or all of these people may "fade away" and become "have seen nothing -- have heard nothing -- and will say nothing" persons"  -- leaving the whistleblower alone and unsupported! If the others will not agree to "joint whistleblowing" then at least ask for a written signed statement in advance from each of them, on the alleged wrongdoing facts and circumstances, so that their later support/testimony will be facilitated if needed.


NUMBER 16: SPECIFICITY: If your employer (supervisor or manager or higher) tells you they are going to correct a situation you have blown the whistle on, ask: "By when will you do that?" If the correction date is too far out, or they are noncommittal -- be suspicious!

Management that is "sincere" will do something positive quickly. Unfortunately, in too many situations, some management will give insincere or unspecific promise to do something, as a delaying tactic to facilitate the subsequent instigation of whistleblowing retaliation!


NUMBER 15:  TRUTHFULNESS: If your employer accuses you of blowing-the-whistle to an "outside organization or Government Agency" and you lie about it and say it was not you (when it was) then you may be giving your employer a perfect defense if you later allege whistleblowing retaliation by your employer!

Some employees blow-the-whistle to an organization or Government Agency outside of their workplace. If an investigation commences and the employer is questioned/investigated about the allegation(s), even though the investigating agency does not reveal the name of the complainant (when the complainant has requested confidentiality at the time of making the complaint), some employers may guess who it was that blew-the-whistle. When that employee is confronted by the employer, and accused of being the one who blew-the-whistle, if the employee lies about being the whistleblower and the employer later retaliates -- the employer can claim as a defense to retaliation that the employer did not know the employee was a whistleblower, the employee even denied blowing-the-whistle -- so supposedly how could the employer have possibly retaliated for whistleblowing! (Note: Just because an employee admits, when questioned by an employer, that the employee blew-the-whistle, that does not mean the employee is necessarily obligated to reveal the confidential information given to a Government Agency. The safest thing to do is get legal advice on the reveal/don't reveal the specifics issue, and inform the Investigating Agency that you are being questioned by your employer!)


NUMBER 14: WRITTEN: At any time after blowing the whistle, (or if you think your employer suspects you are going to blow the whistle,) if you are told by your employer (Supervisor, Manager, Personnel, etc.,) to go home and await further instructions/information -- Always get those "go home" (or don't come in tomorrow) instructions in writing!

Many workplaces have a personnel policy that an employee may be fired, under a presumption of "abandonment of employment,"  if the employee does not have employer permission to be off from work and does not show up for work for the number of days specified in the policy. If somebody is trying to get rid of a whistleblowing employee, one way to do it is to send them home on verbal only instructions, fire them after the abandonment of employment criteria comes into play; then later deny that they were sent home with instructions to await further employer contact. If written instructions to go home and await further instructions, cannot be obtained before having to leave the premises when told to go home and await further instructions, then within 24 hours of being told to go home, send a written letter to the employer, certified/return receipt, indicating:

 the specific instructions you were given,

who gave them to you,

what time and date were they given,

where they were communicated to you, and

who was present and heard the conversation/instructions.


NUMBER 13:  PARTICIPATION: Do not participate in "wrongdoing" and expect to later excuse that evil by claiming: "my employer made me do it!"

When a whistleblower has taken part in workplace wrongdoing, later hoping to excuse such action by blaming it on supposedly being involuntarily forced to participate, the whistleblower will lose all credibility and be personally tainted by what has been perpetrated. It is not believable that any employer can force an employee to violate a law, regulation, or rule, or to perform any unethical or immoral act; and the employee who participates in "evil," and later seeks to blow-the-whistle on the employer, will probably find that there will be little or no sympathy for, or believability in, that whistleblower who was part of the very evil that took place. To participate in wrongdoing and then seek to expose it (unless one is a law enforcement undercover agent), is the proverbial equivalent of "burning one's candle at both ends simultaneously!" 


NUMBER 12:  WRITING: Do consider, when blowing-the-whistle, to do so in written rather than just verbal form!

After the whistleblowing occurs, if it was only in verbal form, there sometimes later develops a controversy, between employer and whistleblower, over exactly what the whistleblower did or did not say/divulge. This can become critical where there might be some governing Federal and/or State Statutory and/or Court Case Law that mandates certain information as a minimum be conveyed from the whistleblower to the employer. For example, if the whistleblower is complaining about/reporting something that is believed to be "fraud" but never uses that word to the employer, it can later be argued that the employee was simply being inquisitive about the goings on and supposedly not concerned about or reporting fraud/wrongdoing. Thus, the employer will assert that anything it later did to the whistleblower was supposedly unrelated to the matter the whistleblower blew-the-whistle on. Likewise, in a situation where the employee is reporting a refusal to participate in alleged wrongdoing/fraud/etc., unless the employee conveys to the employer a clear, concise, respectful, and unemotional statement of what the employee has refused to do, and why the employee has refused to do certain things, the employer may later argue that the employee was supposedly insubordinate and refused to comply with lawful instructions of the employer. In any event,

                      unless it is an emergency circumstance adversely affecting

                           (or to imminently adversely affect) public health and/or   

                           safety, which obviously requires immediate notification to 

    employer and/or to Government Authorities,

it is wise to consult in advance, with an Attorney (who practices law in the same State where the alleged wrongdoing is occurring) who is knowledgeable in employee whistleblowing protection, and formulate the precise exact wording of the complaint/report to be made to the employer.


NUMBER 11:  TAINTED: Don't try to gather evidence of wrongdoing and/or employer retaliation for whistleblowing, that you may never be able to use, and which might get you in trouble!

Some whistleblowers decide they are going to make a surreptitious (secret) tape recording of telephone conversations and/or face-to-face meetings with someone. (This is different from just a telephone answering machine receiving and recording a caller's message; because there, the caller knows about the recording and in effect consents to the recording by leaving a message on the answering machine -- and the caller cannot under that circumstance have any expectation of privacy with regard to that voice communication.) There may be one or more laws which prohibit making surreptitious recordings (when not under Government Agency law enforcement direction) because such recordings are an "interception/recording" of verbal voice communications without the prior consent of all parties to the conversation. If the whistleblower makes the surreptitious recording (not under direction of a Government law enforcement Agency) in a State where it is prohibited, not only would the tape probably be excluded as evidence in any later civil litigation or Administrative proceeding instituted by the whistleblower, but it might be confiscated and used by the Government to prosecute the whistleblower for breaking the Law. So, before getting involved in any surreptitious tape recording(s) get legal advice (preferably in writing) from an attorney, as to whether or not it would violate any law to make such a recording.


NUMBER 10:  CONSCIENCE: Be mindful of your own conscience, lest you end up tormented for the rest of your life!

Most whistleblowers are people of exceptionally high morals, character, and some religious belief(s). When they come face to face in life with a dilemma of "to blow the whistle or not," they often agonize mentally with themselves over it. They are torn between wanting to do the right thing (and blow-the-whistle) yet fearing the worst might possibly happen to them in terms of any retaliation, or some financial adversity, or maybe some negative impact upon their employment. To solve this dilemma, a whistleblower only needs to ask themselves one simple question; namely: "If I do not blow the whistle, will I be able to live with my conscience for the rest of my life?" If the issue over which "to blow the whistle or not," involves a matter of public health and/or public safety, then the matter of living with one's conscience, if they remain silent, is of critical importance!


NUMBER 9:  TIMECARDS: Be cautious that an electronic security system in the workplace does not bring "misery" into your life!

Many workplaces these days have a security system whereby an employee puts a card or employee badge into a card reader at a locked door, and it automatically unlocks. Employees use these cards when they come to work in the morning, when they go home at night, and anytime they leave the building (for lunch, etc.). What they fail to realize is that this system automatically makes an electronic log such that the employer can tell if an employee comes to work late, leaves early for lunch, comes back late from lunch, leaves work during the day, and leaves early at the end of the workday. A few minutes here, or a few minutes there, "shaved off" the clock (coming late and/or leaving early) usually produces no action by the employer. However, let the employee "blow-the-whistle" and suddenly the employer's lawyer, or Personnel/Human Resources, produces the electronic security doors logs on the whistleblower, for the entire time of employment, and now the whistleblower is painted as an employee who "steals time" from the employer! So the moral of the story is, if you came in late to work, or accidentally overstayed the lunch hour, or left a little early without permission, etc., be sure you stay at work later, at the first opportunity possible, to make up the time. Likewise, if you have this type of electronic security system at work, keep a separate record notation, in a safe place, whenever you get permission to deviate from work times. The automatic security device log does not know if you had management/supervisory permission to leave early or come in late -- only an informal record kept by you would recall the actual facts and provide a legitimate explanation.


NUMBER 8:  MEMORY: A Whistleblower's memory about events and facts relating to past occurrences, can become "faded" over time; but not if an accurate "tool," a "diary," is prepared and kept on a daily (or as often as needed) basis.

A written record, with accuracy and details, about occurrences in the past, are a Whistleblower's greatest tool for credible recollection in the future, when such becomes necessary. The passage of time can cause our memory recollections to fade, making it vital for a whistleblower to keep a diary at home (a safe place) of unusual occurrences in the workplace. Document the occurrence time, date, place, who present, what was said, what was observed, etc.. Do not make/state in the diary any suppositions, theories, beliefs, and the like. Those can come back to haunt you if someone later takes issue with what you have speculated/concluded. However, facts are facts, and a factual diary can become a powerful recollection tool, and if judicial authority permits, even credible evidence should a future need arise. Never keep the diary at the workplace. If a whistleblower is fired in retaliation for blowing the whistle, the diary could be lost if the whistleblower is made to leave the workplace and the employer says all office personal items will be forwarded to the whistleblower's home. Likewise, do not keep a diary in the office computer, as it may be discovered by the employer and most likely will become "lost or destroyed!" 


NUMBER 7:  SURVEILLANCE: A Whistleblower should "take care" in the workplace because Employers have the means to detect certain things.

Many Employees do not think about the fact that in today's "high tech" world, Employers have many "electronic tools" to gather information about employees' workplace activities. There is software that allows Employers to read the contents of all employee's workplace computer e-mails and Instant Messages (IM); to know if employees go on the Internet, to know what they see, to know how long they stay on the Internet, to see what they downloaded, to see with whom they communicated, etc.. Whatever is or was in the employee's computer, the employer can easily see. When employees receive telephone calls, the employer can tell the telephone number where the call originated from, can tell how long the employee stayed on the phone, and can tell what local and/or long distance telephone numbers the employee called. So, with respect to office computers and telephone equipment owned by the Employer, the Employee can have no workplace expectation of privacy; thus, should assume their employer can tell what they are doing or conversely what they are not doing. Thus, the whistleblower who contacts Government  authorities using the office telephone and/or office computer, may be unknowingly communicating what they thought was private, directly to their employer. Likewise, many employees make the mistake of keeping personal (and otherwise) documents in their office computer. If their employment is suddenly and/or unexpectedly terminated, they will most likely lose all that is in their office computer, since most likely the Employer will tell the computer management folks to immediately freeze-block-terminate the employee's computer access. Many whistleblowers make the mistake of keeping incriminating evidence, that substantiates Employer wrongdoing, in their office desk and/or Office Computer. Surprise -- if they are called to the personnel office, or elsewhere in the workplace and fired, they may or may not be permitted to return to their desk (employer will send personal items later to employee). If permitted to go back to their desk, the fired employee may be accompanied by a security guard or someone from management, and every document tried to be taken will be examined and confiscated on the spot if it appears not to be a purely "personal item." The moral of the story is that a Whistleblower must always assume that any electronic proof or copy of documentary proof of employer wrongdoing, will immediately be subject to loss/confiscation if kept at the office. 


NUMBER 6: TRUST: A Whistleblower's "blind" trust can lead to trouble!

It is a fact that in today's workplace most employees do not have employment contracts, thus they do not have "job security." It is also a fact that most employees are not "financially well off," thus their employment is critical to them in terms of providing for them (and their family) the financial means for food, shelter, clothing, transportation and other human needs. A few people (who may otherwise have insecure feelings about their own professional capability) are so "desperate" to keep their job at any "cost," that in some cases they go out of their way to "curry favor" with their supervisor/management. Even if doing that means having to symbolically "stab a fellow employee in the back" by running behind the scenes to supervision/management to "squeal" on someone who they find out is going to blow the whistle on some workplace wrongdoing that is, has, or will be taking place. So, an unsuspecting Whistleblower might confide in a fellow employee or someone in the workplace they thought were their friend, only to discover later on that the so called trusted friend went to management and "let the cat out of the bag" before the Whistleblower got everything needed to act. Now there is no harm in that if the employer/management is honest, law abiding, and moral; however, if otherwise, the whistleblower may find themselves out of a job before they know what happened and they could end up with no whistleblowing protection because the employer, not yet having heard anything directly from the Whistleblower, could falsely claim they had no knowledge the Whistleblower was concerned about anything. So, the moral of this is, the Whistleblower should not discuss the workplace situation with anybody except family, one's Religious Advisor, and/or a Lawyer, and should blow-the-whistle (if that is what is going to be done) at the proper time, place, and under circumstances which are of the Whistleblower's own choosing; and not be preempted by a fellow employee/workplace "friend" who is trying to "kiss up to management" for self-gain at the expense of "destroying" a fellow employee. During the WWII era the U.S. Government had a slogan which said: "LOOSE LIPS SINK AMERICAN SHIPS!" In today's world the slogan would be: "LOOSE LIPS SINK A WHISTLEBLOWER'S REPORTING WRONGDOING TIPS!"


NUMBER 5: RETALIATE: It is not uncommon for an employer to retaliate against a whistleblower!

They use that as a method to further upset the whistleblower. The big thing is that if we get fired we should not carry any animosity that shows outwardly, into any new subsequent employment. It is that when we continue to drag the past into our future, that we become in effect "chained" to the circumstances of the past and that makes it more difficult to begin anew and be successful. We should take the high road" in life, and work to the best of our ability to be successful.

We do know how workplace adversity can "weigh" heavily on one's mind. However, the thing is, to somehow be able to rise above the adversity, look at life as meaningful, and move forward to put the pieces back together again as best as we can. When an employer is successful in driving a whistleblower to "distress" they doubly win; that is, they win in the workplace and win in the employee's home/family life. While the employee may have little control over workplace events, there should be total employee control over one's home/family life. When a whistleblower begins to live the adversity from Whistleblowing, day and night, it can adversely affect family and friends. We must make a conscious effort not to let that happen. What happened in the workplace, what happens in any administrative hearings and/or litigation, and the like later, should remain outside the home. When whistleblowers can seize the initiative, take control of their lives, take a "higher road in life," perhaps they can restore the pride, self dignity and the joy of life they justly deserve.

We must magnify in our minds the good that we did by our whistleblowing, must have self pride and faith in ourselves, and we must pick ourselves up off the floor, dust ourselves off, and stand tall again. If and when we can do that, we begin to heal inwardly and become "whole again." Though someone may now struggle with the unfolding events from the workplace adversity, the good news is that time eventually has those events running their course and the "new dawn" brings unfolding challenges and meaningful occurrences back into our lives. A whistleblower who has a clear vision of the future can see all that; any who cannot, will most likely become mired in the past like it is quicksand and thereby continue to be "held down."


NUMBER 4: CAPITULATION: Does it pay to try to right the workplace wrong(s) or should one just "play ball?" 

Throughout much of recorded human history, men and women have been asking themselves and others that question. Unfortunately many, against their own inward sense of what is morally right and wrong, determined that "to play ball" is the easier way to go. Examples of the "disasters" in the "play ball" philosophy abound in the pages of human history. The rise to power of Hitler and the millions of human beings who were as a result "slaughtered;" the conscious non-reporting of crime, so as not to become involved, thereby leaving some criminals free to perpetrate the same heinous crimes on others; the remaining silent in the workplace and looking the other way as State and/or Federal Laws are knowingly being violated by the employer, making all who remain silent "helpers" for the employer's "evil deeds." It is very difficult for any moral, loving the Almighty, man or woman, raised in decency, law abiding, and compassionate, to remain silent and just "play ball" in the face of certain circumstances. In the "heat of workplace Battle" when the whistleblower is seemingly being "trampled upon" so to speak, a whistleblower may in frustration have second thoughts about having blown the whistle, rather than having "played ball." If we spontaneously blow-the-whistle, we cannot undo what is then done. We can only take pride in having done that which allows us to live with our conscience. It is better to have a clear conscience from having blown the whistle then to look at ourselves in the mirror every day, with a guilty conscience, bemoaning and tortured that we remained silent and played ball. To us, the Father and the Son, the clear conscience is preferable.

So, be of noble heart, have courage, live life one day at a time, and pretty soon, hopefully, peace and joy will again return, and the blessings for good deeds will someday become a "new beginning."


NUMBER 3: REVENGE: Seeking to get "revenge" against an employer/former employer for being retaliated against for Whistleblowing, is a "two edged" sword that cuts both ways!

Many Whistleblowers want the "world" to know about how terrible they believe their employer, or former employer, is. Some do this by putting a website on the Internet and use highly emotional language trying to "tell all". If at some later date litigation against the employer occurs for the effects of the whistleblowing retaliation, (or is already ongoing when the website is established,) the Whistleblower's website can do great damage to the litigation case; as the website contents will be put before the jury and the Whistleblower will be made to appear as viciously vindictive, and may lose the employment retaliation case at trial. Other Whistleblowers "GO OFF THE DEEP END" when they cannot get anyone in the news media interested in their story. They get emotional and say and write things that are better left unsaid, which may come back "TO BITE THEM". Whistleblowers sometimes fail to realize that publicity can occasionally destroy their privacy, and that of their family, and makes getting replacement employment more difficult or almost impossible; because other employers may not want to hire someone who is seemingly publicly emotionally "enraged" about their former employer. So, wisely and calmly choose a time and place and method to "go public," if at all, and do not feel that unless the whole world knows your whistleblowing story, you can never be at "peace" with yourself and what happened. Whistleblowing must only be a finite "event" in a person's life, and must not be allowed to become "the rest of one's life!"   


NUMBER 2: TECHNIQUE: A Whistleblower should "look before they leap" because the manner of blowing-the-whistle often makes the difference between perhaps having whistleblowing Statutory/ Regulatory/or Judicial Case Law protection, or having none!

Unfortunately many whistleblowers "plunge" recklessly into blowing-the-whistle before they have looked into what federal and/or State Statutory/ Regulatory/or Judicial Case Law requirements, if any, might apply, so that in the event of any employer "retaliation" for the whistleblowing, any protection that exists hopefully will apply. Too often, and tragically "after the fact," a whistleblower will discover things like maybe in their State the State Whistleblowing Protection Law (if any) might prescribe that they first must blow the whistle to their employer in a specific manner (theoretically to give the employer a fair chance to correct the wrongdoing -- although some State Judicial Case Law may have made an exception to that) or they must file an affidavit with some Government agency, or the whistleblower must fulfill other prescribed requirements in a specific manner. Judicial Case Law sometimes expands upon and/or interprets these requirements. It is essential for the whistleblower to be aware of these matters beforehand, so the whistleblowing protection, if any, will apply in the future in the event of employer retaliation against the whistleblower. There is only one situation, in our opinion (we are not attorneys), where blowing-the-whistle immediately is justified, before having adequate time to get appropriate advice -- and that is when public health and/or public safety is being catastrophically endangered, necessitating immediate whistleblowing action to stop the perilous endangerment.


NUMBER 1: DECISION: Choose the time, place, and manner/method of blowing-the-whistle!

Often times a person, while being upset, will spontaneously and emotionally blow-the-whistle in a manner that may not be the best for the situation, and in a way that could be detrimental to the whistleblower. When a situation involves public health and/or safety, understandably urgency in blowing-the-whistle is paramount; however, in all other situations it is better to choose time, place, and manner/method of blowing-the-whistle after getting appropriate advice and looking at all options. 

 

 

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Last Modified: January 23, 2014

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