Whistleblowing is a controversial act that has many people wondering if it is ethical. One thing is for sure, whistleblowing stirs up controversy from every side that is wrapped up in the event.
It is a risky position to take for many different reasons. There are so many whistleblower concerns that few people will take that risk even if they believe it is an ethical action.
Types of Whistleblowing
Internal is the type of whistleblowing that occurs within a company or organization. An employee will make a complaint of wrongdoing directly to a human resources department or a supervisor. In some cases an internal complaint can be made anonymously via a hotline. Companies that utilize anonymous reporting experience a greater level of self-regulation.
External whistleblowing occurs when a person makes a report or complaint to an external agency. An example of this is a person making a report to a law enforcement agency about illegal conduct at the workplace.
Third-party whistleblowing describes the action when a third party reports the findings of the whistleblower. An example of this is when one government claims the actions of another government is illegal and procures the information from an outside source.
Private Whistleblowing Concerns
This occurs when a report is claimed about a private company or entity. This type of reporting has its own set of consequences.
Many who make reports about the company that they work for suffer retaliation. The retaliation is issued by supervisors, employees, or former workers that were terminated as a result of the complaint.
Termination from employment is a common result for these types of complaints. The termination is either direct or forced as a result of hostile work conditions. Several workers who make this type of complaint also have a difficult time re-entering the workforce as a result of the record with their former employer.
Public Whistleblowing Concerns
When someone makes a report about a publicly held corporation or public office, it has its own set of concerns. The report has an effect on a larger number of people versus a private report.
The wider scope of attention brings a wider scope of persecution and retaliation. Many public snitches face criminal charges for their involvement in the illegal activities.
Whistleblowers are sometimes engaged in the criminal activities they report, which is the reason so many of them face criminal charges. However, the government has created incentives for those who make reports even if they are involved.
The word whistleblower was invented to curtail negative terms like snitch and rat. However, even with a new moniker, several people resent their actions. It does not matter how someone makes a complaint, there are shared consequences. Whistleblowers sometimes suffer psychological and physical harm due to their actions.
A whistleblower attorney can prevent a great deal of this persecution by safeguarding the whistleblower’s rights.