As a federal employee, you might find yourself handling sensitive information. When something does not seem right and you suspect information is mishandled, then you have a duty to let such misconduct be known. This is known as whistleblowing.
However, simply bringing the misconduct to the attention of your superiors is never enough to ensure that the situation is addressed. As a whistleblower, you need help with the investigation and participating in other legal processes.
Here are common yet costly whistleblower missteps that you need to avoid:
1. Trying to investigate things on your own
The moment you learn about an egregious activity or violation of rules and regulations is the moment you need to step forward and blow the whistle.
Keep in mind that you are not an investigator. You don’t want to act rashly, but you also don’t want to get into documents or materials that you’re not supposed to access. Leave the major investigative work to the professionals so that you don’t violate any laws.
2. Talking about the case to third parties
This should be straightforward. Sensitive government information most often makes for a sensitive legal matter. As such, it is important that you exercise confidentiality throughout the process.
Sometimes, your family and friends may be curious to know what is going on, and you might be tempted to share the details of your whistleblower case with them. However, this can be a costly mistake. Like in any legal matter, you are better off keeping as mum as you possibly can.
Handled properly, a federal whistleblower case can safeguard the interests of the country and benefit everyone. Find out how you can protect your rights while blowing the whistle.