Private companies, organizations, charities, government agencies, and more can engage in various forms of corruption, including fraud, embezzlement, unlawful contracts, and more. As much as these entities try to hide what they’re doing, employees generally find out eventually according to a Washington, DC whistleblower lawyer at Eric Siegel Law. Furthermore, employees or members who engage in such behavior may find themselves wanting out. However, deciding to “whistleblow” is a big decision that can impact the rest of your life. We’ll explore the top reasons why people don’t end up whistleblowing and how an attorney can help.
- Believing That Nothing Will Happen Anyways
Whether a company or organization is small or massive, many workers may believe that nothing will happen even if they expose corruption. Private companies can have a lot of money and resources to throw around to prevent whistleblowing cases from becoming anything major. Furthermore, governmental agencies can have the government on their side—even if they’re breaking the law.
- Believing They Don’t Have Enough Evidence
Unless you have direct legal experience, it can be hard to determine what and what won’t hold up in the courtroom. What can be considered “evidence” depends on how the other party explains and presents itself. In other words, you can expect to go up against a knowledgeable and perhaps fierce legal team when whistleblowing. While certain receipts, classified documents, or other pieces of evidence may seem ironclad to you and others, it doesn’t mean it’ll hold up in the court system.
- Legal Repercussions
You don’t just have to worry about the other side dismantling your case—they may even try legally going after you. Actions like suing a whistleblower for whistleblowing are, by themselves, illegal. However, a business could still try suing a person for other actions like claiming defamation. Again, employees may avoid whistleblowing because they don’t have time, money, or legal know-how.
- Financial Repercussions or a Hostile Work Environment
An employee may not whistleblow because they fear facing financial repercussions within the workplace. Actions like missing out on a promotion, being docked pay, having hours cut, etc., can all happen. Of course, a company won’t come out and say they’re doing such actions due to employee whistleblowing. However, for example, they could use fabricated work performance reviews as an excuse. An employee may also be treated differently within the workplace and receive threats—directly or non-directly.
- Fear of Damaging Their Reputation
Unsurprisingly, many whistleblowers will end up quitting their jobs to look for employment elsewhere. Unfortunately, whistleblowing can damage a person’s reputation and career prospects. Some industries and their respective organizations and places of employment may stay in close communication. A person can find themselves not getting a job elsewhere due to their actions.
- Not Knowing How to Proceed
Many employees simply won’t know who to report to or where especially if there isn’t clear evidence showing case specific employees responsible for actions like embezzlement. Knowing who to report to and what kind of evidence to gather becomes easier when working with an attorney.