Knowing the difference between right and wrong is very different when you must blow the whistle on illegal activity in the workplace. While you may not want to sit idly by while fraud and other unscrupulous activities are happening under your nose โ€“ it can be exceptionally hard to speak out against it.

You will face tough personal decisions along the way, and it will be stressful, but what you do now will have a significant impact on the future, so consider these five things below first before blowing the whistle at work:

1. Have a Plan

Donโ€™t go into this haphazardly โ€“ you must have a survival plan.

Having a strategy for this process is crucial for getting through it. You have to stay one step ahead of your employer or whoever is engaging in illegal activities. Have a plan to legally secure evidence, determine your goals for this process, and come up with a way to use this plan as a roadmap for your whistleblowing journey.

2. Talk To Loved Ones

The decision to blow the whistle should never be taken lightly. It will undoubtedly be one of the toughest decisions that you will ever make in your career.

While you can take steps to protect yourself and your family from retaliation – the process of whistleblowing can have long-term personal implications for you and your loved ones.

They need to prepare themselves for the potential fallout scenarios involved with this process, including intimidation and public smear campaigns. Discuss the ethical decision with your family as much as you can – this is a deeply personal decision, and you will need their help to make the right one.

3. Know Your Rights

If you get unlawfully dismissed for blowing the whistle, consult an attorney experienced with matters involving termination against labor regulations. While blowing the whistle is no easy task, you do have rights and you are afforded protection from retaliation.

With proper guidance and legal counsel, you can navigate the challenging journey ahead of you with someone on your side.

4. Be Careful with Evidence

Fraud can be a difficult thing to prove without evidence. The problem with that is that evidence is often only found in documents that are the property of your employer. 

One of the most common defense strategies for employers in court is that evidence must get stolen or privacy laws infringed upon for it to come to light.

Stopping fraud overrides a companyโ€™s property rights, but there are some exceptions – so get legal advice before blowing the whistle.

5. Have Patience

One of the hardest things about blowing the whistle is that it is far from a quick process.

When making a huge decision like whether to blow the whistle, it takes time to build up the courage to do the right thing. That is one of the reasons why it is so hard for most whistleblowers to accept that things donโ€™t happen immediately afterward.

The wheels of justice take time to turn. You must understand that you have no control over what happens next – all you can do is be patient and know that the journey will be vindicating in the end.

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