A whistleblower is an employee who alerts authorities, media, or the public to alleged wrongdoing, typically in their workplace. Wrongdoing can include criminal activities such as fraud but also other activities which may be inappropriate but not necessarily illegal. Some examples of these include mismanagement and harassment, the latter of which is generally prohibited in some way. In some cases, the wrongdoing can have severe implications regarding public health and safety.
In our experience, whistleblowers are almost universally motivated by the best interests of the public or a specific group – they rarely focus purely on their individual circumstances and needs. Despite this, they are often mischaracterized by employers as being dishonest or otherwise acting inappropriately. This is a typical response to whistleblowing activity, which is unacceptable. Indeed, whistleblowers frequently face harassment and retribution. While employees remain entitled to protection from wrongful discipline, dismissal, and other negative impacts, employers do not always live up to their legal obligations. Moreover, often whistleblowers are the subject of retaliation from fellow employees or even the public.
What You Need To Know As A Whistleblower
Whistleblower protection laws are complex, meaning that many such individuals are not always aware of their rights and responsibilities before and after they start being vocal. Indeed, in all cases, a whistleblower should obtain legal advice and guidance before blowing said whistle in any way, as there are many ways in which they can protect themselves at the outset and throughout the process, maximizing success and minimizing negative reactions.
Whistleblower Protection At Raven Law
Our firm provides strategic advice and advocacy to whistleblower employees in both the public and private sector at all stages of the process. These include before, during, and after blowing the whistle. We provide informed guidance on the nature and timing of permissible disclosure, the legal frameworks that exist to protect whistleblowers, and the steps that must be taken before going public. We can also represent those facing retribution from whistleblowing before courts and tribunals. In fact, many of the leading cases concerning the rights and obligations of whistleblowers, particularly under the Federal Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act, have been argued by lawyers in our firm.
Finally, David Yazbeck, one of our lawyers, is directly involved in some of the leading Canadian advocacy groups for whistleblowers; namely, the Centre for Free Expression Whistleblower Initiative out of Ryerson University and the Whistleblowing Canada Research Society. As a result, we are not only on the cutting edge of information regarding whistleblower laws and practice, but also assist in influencing laws and policies in this area.
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