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What is a whistleblower?

Workers in California like you have the right to carry out your jobs in a safe environment where you don't fear for your safety, life, or job security. So what happens if your upper management is making attaining those things impossible?

This is where whistleblowers come in. The Government Accountability Project defines this as the report of wrongdoings done by an employee, as long as they go through the proper legal channels for it to be considered legal whistleblowing. In these cases, wrongdoings can be defined as:

  • Fraud
  • Mismanagement
  • Power abuse
  • Illegal activities
  • Public health and safety dangers

General wrongdoings may also be considered reportable offenses, as well as gross waste, which is generally applied to the irresponsible use of funds or other financial gains. Certain cases of potential corruption may also be reported in some cases, though it is usually tied to one of the above mentioned categories.

When you suspect that your management is partaking in any of the wrongdoings, then it is within your rights to report them. Typically this can be done through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, which has a program specifically designed to help whistleblowers report things going wrong in their workplace without fearing for retribution from higher-ups. Whistleblowers may even be considered a vital part of maintaining workplace balance, as they keep an eye on the upper management and can hold them responsible for cut corners or mishandled business situations.

While this is not meant to be taken as legal advice, it is important for all employees like you to be aware of the power you have. If you see wrongdoings in your workplace, it is well within your right to report it.

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