As someone helping to maintain or expand railway infrastructure, your job is safety-critical. You probably invest a lot of care in your daily habits to make sure that you don’t do anything that would compromise the quality of your work or the safety of other people.
Unfortunately, you may have recently learned that your employer does not exercise the same degree of care with its responsibilities. Perhaps they have hired untrained or uncertified professionals to do labor or inspections. Maybe they have reported and billed for maintenance that workers did not perform under the assumption that everything is still in good operating condition.
If you want to draw regulatory attention to those potentially disastrous decisions by your employer, can you do so anonymously?
There are ways to make an anonymous report
Many people privy to information about company misconduct worry about the consequences of speaking up. You may want your employer to change their practices, but that doesn’t mean you want to lose your job. Thankfully, you can make an anonymous report online about the issue you witnessed and how it could negatively affect public safety.
However, anonymous reports usually don’t carry the same weight as reports associated with employees or identified individuals. Additionally, even if you don’t disclose your name, the information that you share could eventually lead your employer back to you as the potential whistleblower. Finally, if you don’t disclose your identity, you won’t receive protection as a whistleblower.
You don’t have to hide your identity because your employer cannot punish you
While it is natural to feel nervous about the career consequences of reporting employer misconduct to federal regulatory agencies, there are laws that protect you. As a whistleblower, you have protection from retaliation. That means that your employer can’t demote you, reduce your pay or fire you because you reported their misconduct.
Depending on the kind of claim that you bring, identifying yourself might also make you eligible for compensation if the government is able to reclaim funds that your employer fraudulently collected. When you understand the protections afforded to whistleblowers, you may feel more confident about your decision to speak up about your employer’s misconduct.