Labors laws are passed to ensure that the welfare and interests of the employees are safe and they are not subject to exploitation and discrimination by their employers. Provisions in the labor laws provides the systems which enable employees to put up their grievances with the concerned authorities if they believe that their rights are jeopardized. Sometimes they may inform the agencies of any wrong doings of their employers. The act of exposing is popularly termed as “whistle blowing” and the persons who do it are known as “whistle blowers”. Whistle blowers often attract wrath of their employers and face discrimination. Often they get fired by their employers. To protect the interests of the whistle blowers, Whistle blower protection Act was enacted. This ensures that the rights and interests of the whistle blowers stay intact. The government is very strict with these rules.
While these come as no or little benefits to the employees, it comes as a shock to the employer. Most of the times, he may not be at fault. He has a larger role to cater in the firm and sometimes the things may go overlooked. Many a times, he may not even be addressed of the grievance and many a times, it may be a fault on the employee side. Regardless of all these things, employer has to face the wrath of the Federal and State agencies. So, an employer has to be a little concerned about the law and see to it that whistle blowing should not happen in his business firm.
Why employers need to be concerned
There are many ways and for many reasons an employee can turn into whistle blower and blow the whistle. Reasons can be violating a law, rule or regulation, mismanagement, heavy wastage of funds, misuse of authority and risk of health and safety to public or at work place. If you look at these you will yourself feel that it is not difficult to comply with these things, but the problem is only that you can not see it coming. Our your side, everything may be running good and fine and one unfortunate day, suddenly someone blows a whistle.
There are certain factors which makes employees to turn into whistle blowers. One is the provision of the False Claims Act. If an employer claims funds falsely or furnish false details to minimize taxes, he can be charged under False Claims Act and around 15-25% of the recovered damages are rewarded to the whistle blower. This lures many employees to blow the whistle. Sometimes, an employee may be looking forward for some opportunity to take his revenge. Any laxity can come as an opportunity to him. Sometimes an employee may not even think it necessary to convey his grievances to him at the first place and in some other cases, even the employees can plot against you. The mistake may not even lie at your side quite sometimes, but you have to become a victim. Federal and State governments are no less merciful regarding these acts. So, you should be on watch.
What an employee needs to do
To save yourselves from any complications of the Act, you have to be certain that compliance of the laws are ensured. Occasionally, you should arrange good will meetings with the employees and get their grievances addressed. Working on their complaints is another good approach. This will lead to a cordial employee-employer relationship. If you find any target areas of dissatisfaction among employees, try to address the issue. Record keeping should be strict and rules should be followed meticulously. This way, any greedy employees will not be able to tip you off in greed for some reward. Employees should be made to take responsibility for their work so that you do not pay for their mistake.
It is not all difficult to protect yourself from the whistle blowers, you just need to be on watch and aware of the activities and environment of the workplace.
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