The concept of a whistleblower can be a bit confusing. Whistleblowers exist in business and government. They involve an employee who reports something about an employer.
Typically, a whistleblower is reporting illegal activity or actions by the employer that could put employee safety at risk. But the misdeed could be anything that is dangerous, and there is a need to protect employees and others.
The importance of a whistleblower is to allow employees to report issues inside companies without worrying about retaliation. The whistleblower protections mean an employer cannot take negative action against the employee for what he or she reported. Employers also cannot threaten, harass or intimidate the employees who make a report. If retaliation occurs, the employer faces punishment.
Before whistleblower laws were in place, employees were too afraid to report illegal or unsafe actions by employers because they could lose their jobs. Without such protection, workplaces were often dangerous and companies could get away with illegal activities. It is often difficult to prove a crime occurring within a company without help from the inside, which is a large reason why whistleblower laws came to be.
Reasons to report
It can be a difficult decision to become a whistleblower. It can be uncomfortable and make it difficult to return to work, but it is a good thing to do. You can protect yourself and others by coming forward. Plus, the law is on your side, so you have protection.
Whistleblowers have saved lives and prevented widespread fraud from continuing. They have made workplaces better and stopped crimes from occurring. Whistleblower laws are quite beneficial.