Most whistleblowers stumble across signs of fraud or wrongdoing totally by accident. In the majority of cases, these people are reluctant to blow the whistle because they fear retaliation from the parties responsible for misconduct. It usually takes a potential whistleblower some time to decide to speak out.
This cautious approach is the right way to proceed when blowing the whistle. Careful consideration combined with authoritative legal guidance are essential to prepare for the process of becoming a whistleblower. You can find a lot of information about what to do after deciding to move forward. However, you should also understand what not to do as a whistleblower.
Don’t move forward with your plans without talking to your family.
Retaliation against whistleblowers and their families is a real concern. Therefore, it’s crucial to discuss your plans with your loved ones first. At the same time, it may be illegal to disclose specific information with them. Your lawyer can tell you what you can and cannot share as a whistleblower.
Don’t take (steal) confidential documents or materials.
Taking classified materials to help you prove misconduct is not legal in Michigan or any other state. Doing so will harm your credibility and may get you into legal trouble as well.
Don’t talk to journalists without legal representation
Revealing protected information to the media can also hurt your credibility. Even worse, it can lead to federal charges against you. This is just one more reason why it is so important to seek experienced legal guidance if you want to call out wrongdoing in your workplace.