Who is protected by whistleblower laws?
Generally speaking, in the private sector, any person who reports conduct on the part of the employer that violates a law, rule, or regulation, is protected from retaliation. Additionally, any person who objects to such conduct, or refuses to participate in such conduct, is equally protected.
Who should I report the conduct to?
The conduct can be reported to the chief executive officer of the company or to any governmental entity with jurisdiction over the person or entity, such as, law enforcement, the IRS, etc.
What should I report?
Your report should be in writing, and it should contain sufficient information so that the reader will know who is engaging in illegal conduct, when the conduct occurred, and what specifically occurred. If you know at the time, you should advise the reader of the specific law that you believe was violated.
Should I talk to the company?
Yes, you should fully participate in any company investigation into your complaint of illegal activity. After all, you are the one who reported the conduct. The most important thing you need to do is tell the truth.
What should I do after I make the report?
Once you have made the report, be sure to follow all work rules, because you may find yourself the target of scrutiny of your employer.
What if my employer punishes me or retaliates for filing a complaint
The first step should be to contact an attorney, because you may have legal recourse in the event you suffer retaliation for making a complaint.