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What is a Whistleblower?

Categories: Employment, Article

Video Transcript:

Hi, I’m Kraig Marton and I do employment law here in the firm.

What is a Whistleblower?

A whistleblower is a person who goes to either the media or to a person in the company who can do something about it, and complains about a violation of law or an unethical practice in an effort to make it stop. The whistleblower then gets a claim if the whistleblower is terminated for blowing the whistle.

What Should Someone do if They Want to Blow the Whistle?

You have to blow the whistle to the right people. Blowing the whistle to a peer is not blowing the whistle. It has to be blowing the whistle to somebody in a position to react to the information you provide. So, knowing who you’re blowing the whistle to, knowing what you’re blowing the whistle about, is important too. If you blow the whistle about being treated unfairly, that’s probably not whistleblowing. It has to be a complaint about a violation of a state or federal statute or constitution or illegal conduct before it’s really whistleblowing. Complaining that your boss is mean to you wouldn’t be whistleblowing and finally, you want to make sure you’ve made a record of the whistleblowing because too many cases become he said, she said. So, yes, whistleblowing is important if done right and probably the best thing to do before you blow the whistle is talk to a lawyer who knows about it.


About the author: Kraig J. Marton heads the employment law department at the Phoenix law firm of Jaburg & Wilk. He assists employers and employees in complying with the many laws affecting employers.