You’ve witnessed misconduct at your company and feel compelled to speak up. But reporting wrongdoing – especially to outside parties – can have major consequences for your career. That’s why it’s critical to speak with an employment lawyer first if you’re considering blowing the whistle. Here’s why legal counsel is so important.

Assess the Law

An attorney can analyze the applicable state and federal laws to determine if the activity in question is actually illegal. They’ll also advise if you are protected under whistleblower statutes and whether proper protocols for reporting have been followed. Acting outside legal frameworks can put you at risk.

Avoid Company Retaliation

Exposing misdeeds often leads to employer retaliation, like demotions, harassment, or termination. After you blow the whistle, experienced counsel will review company policies and contracts to build the best case proving retaliation. This provides more leverage and stronger legal protections.

Explore Anonymous Options

Lawyers know how to anonymously send information to government agencies, outside auditors, or media outlets as appropriate. Anonymity better shields your identity when disclosing. Attorneys can even help anonymously negotiate settlements with employers.

Navigate Investigations

After whistleblowing, various investigations usually follow. Counsel will represent you in these proceedings, making sure your rights are protected if you have to testify or conduct interviews. They ensure inquiries stay focused on organizational misconduct.

Consider Financial Rewards

Lawyers can help you collect financial rewards offered under qui tam or SEC whistleblower programs if applicable. Rewards can offset risks. Experienced attorneys maximize rewards by building strong cases.

Get Emotional Support

Blowing the whistle can take an emotional toll. Beyond legal help, counselors provide critical moral support throughout the difficult process and aftermath. They also connect clients with whistleblower support groups.

The decision to report misconduct should never be taken lightly. But with the right legal guidance protecting you, speaking up can successfully expose unethical practices. Partner with an attorney to make your whistleblowing as safe and impactful as possible.

Photo by Pavel Danilyuk