You’ve heard it before: “When you see something, say something.” Railroad employees and workers in certain other professions are constantly encouraged to speak up about abuses, dangerous practices, negligence and fraud — but blowing the whistle isn’t always easy.
Railroads and other employers have been known to “shoot the messenger” and quietly sweep various acts of malfeasance under the rug rather than risk bad publicity and legal problems.
How can you prepare if you want to blow the whistle on your employer?
First, recognize that you have significant legal protections on your side. That may not stop your employer from attempting to retaliate, but you definitely aren’t without power.
To increase your security, follow these tips:
- Document everything. Keep copies of your records and communications. Take photos, if they lend evidence to your claim. Make notes. Most importantly: Store all of the records away from your job site where they are secure.
- Watch your communications. Don’t use the company computer or phone to speak to your attorney or talk to others about your suspicions. You don’t necessarily know who is peeking through those emails or messages.
- Get a support network. This could be a lengthy process, so you need support. Your spouse or a therapist are the best two options.
- Keep your hands clean. Your actions will come under scrutiny once you make a report. Don’t break into the boss’s email or do anything that could be illegal or unethical in your pursuit for more evidence or information.
Finally, talk to the right attorney. At our office, we specialize in railroad whistleblowers and retaliation claims. We can advise you about both the potential issues you may face and the possibility of rewards for your actions. We can also protect your rights. Learn more by continuing to review our website or by contacting us directly.