Working in the corporate or government environment, employees are sometimes subject to see or ask to do things they should not. Such things that are unethical to society or to the corporation. An employee is then placed in a situation where the employee must decide what action should be taken. Do you report the unethical behavior to upper-management or do you just let it go to avoid risking the disciplinary action towards a co-worker, the company or at times risk of losing your job? Whistleblowing is defined as an employee’s disclosure to government, the press, or upper-management authorities that the employer is engaged in unsafe or illegal activities.
At times employees are reluctant to report their company or disclose information of unethical behavior, because of loyalty to the company, fear of having to deal with the matter, and even the possibility of losing their job. Many people love where they work and do not want to be labeled “snitches”. But, the important part of learning more about this topic is to discover the rights and protections that an employee has. Once the employee knows his or her rights, fear of retaliation of co-worker and the employer lessen. Many of these individuals that face this extremely hard choice have very high ethical values and traits that lead them to do the right thing. Some of the more well-known cases were employees reporting employers regarding illegal dumping of toxic chemicals and financial fraud. These brave individuals are seen as heroes to environmentalists and society.
Whistleblowers play an important role in society, and these strong and courageous are becoming more common. Without them many companies could get away with illegal activities such as fraud and illegal dumping. Whistleblowers protect society and send a message to employers who are conducting unethical practices or are pondering the idea. Employers need to realize that business is about more than making profit, but that they must also protect your image and operate ethically if they want to thrive in todays market.