As a railway worker, you take great pride in doing your job the right way the first time. This holds true whether you work for Long Island Railroad, Metro North, New Jersey Transit Rail or one of the many other similar companies in the area.
At some point, you may be surprised to find that your employer is not following proper procedure and protocol. Instead, they’re skipping steps and cutting corners in an attempt to save money and/or speed up a process.
This is a turning point in your career. You have two options: Remain quiet and go along with what you know is wrong, or speak up and risk your employer taking action against you.
As a whistleblower, you understand the importance of calling out unethical, illegal or unsafe practices. It’s never easy to speak up, especially when you have concerns about the impact on your professional life and personal finances. But if you don’t, you’re putting yourself and others at risk.
Here’s a common example: Your employer receives government money so they can hire a qualified company to complete a concrete inspection. However, rather than spend the money on this expense, they hire inspectors without certification as a means of saving. It doesn’t sound like a big deal to everyone, but you realize that it puts the safety of others at risk in the future.
At that point, you have the legal right to step up and blow the whistle on your employer. It can be a challenge to do so, especially if you have a good relationship with your employer and co-workers, but right is right.
If you take this step, it’s important to understand that your employer is not permitted by law to take any adverse action against you. This can include but is not limited to terminating your employment, demoting you to a lesser position or taking away job responsibilities.
Upon blowing the whistle on your employer, turn your attention to your legal rights for obtaining compensation. You may be in position to receive a 20% reward for stepping up, while still maintaining your position as a valued employee.
It’s not easy to protect yourself as a railway whistleblower, but there’s never a good time to give in and let your employer get the best of you. You did the right thing so it shouldn’t harm you in any way.