Speaking up as a whistleblower might make you feel quite nervous. Although you know it’s the right thing to do, you may worry that you could lose your job or even find yourself blacklisted across the industry.
When you realize that someone at the place where you work has broken the law or the company has violated some important rules, ignoring that information makes you an accomplice. You want to keep working there, but you also want the company to do the right thing.
Although you feel compelled to speak up, it is important that you recognize the potential risk in doing so. Your employer could retaliate against you, especially if your attempt at whistleblowing isn’t successful. Keeping thorough, accurate records of the issue will help protect you.
Documentation helps prove the issue
Whether you suspect an executive of embezzlement or notice major labor law violations at the company’s production facilities, you need to have a specific example if you expect anyone at the company or at regulatory agencies to take you seriously.
Details of the exact issues that you have noticed will help validate your concerns about misconduct. The more times you have witnessed the same issue, the greater the chances of the company’s internal investigation or a review by regulatory agencies supporting your decision to speak up.
Documentation can help you prove retaliation as well
If you have carefully maintained records of multiple infractions and can show that punitive employment actions, like demotion or termination, took place shortly after you brought the matter to their attention, you will have a better chance of convincing others that their actions were retaliatory.
No work should lose their job, lose pay or have to cope with a sudden demotion just because they did the right thing.
How do you keep good records?
There are numerous ways that you can potentially create your own record of what you witnessed in the workplace. The simplest is to have a notebook where you record the time, date, people involved and other crucial details of specific incidents. Your phone can also be a useful tool, as videos and photographs that you capture could help substantiate your claims.
Gathering the right documentation before speaking up will help you protect yourself when you intend to act as a whistleblower.