Employees in Michigan and elsewhere notice various acts and conduct in the work environment. While many of them are in line with what is expected in the work place, others may fall short or even cross legal and ethical lines. An employee observing or finding evidence of wrongdoings in the workplace can be a shocking and emotional experience, as one is likely torn about what should be done. While employees know the right thing is to come forward with this information, many fear what will result if they do.

Role of a whistleblower

When a government employee blows the whistle, they fear that they will be harassed, retaliated against or even terminated. Any possible negative action that could be used against them could cause the most motivated individual to be deterred from ever blowing the whistle on the government organization they work for. The fear and hesitancy that goes with whistleblowing is clear and evident, which is why whistleblower protections were established.

Whistleblower protections

Because the role of a whistleblower is viewed as an important service for the public as a whole, protections are put in place to encourage the reporting of wrong doings. The same goes for those working for the government, such as the Department of Justice. An employee is protected from retaliation for making a protected disclosure of a concern or wrongdoing done by an employee or within a DOJ program.

Making a protected disclosure

In order for employees of the DOJ to be protected by whistleblower rights, they must have made a protected disclosure. In order for a disclosure to be considered protected, it must meet two criteria. First, the disclosure must be based on a reasonable belief that a wrongdoing occurred. Second, the disclosure must be made to a person or entity that is authorized to receive it.

No matter where a individual works, it is important that they understand their rights and protections when it comes to whistleblowing. Additionally, if an employee believes that they have suffered harassment or retaliation due to their whistleblowing, it is important that they understand their rights and what legal actions they could take to protect them.