Whistle While You Work on Exposing the Truth Taking a Look at the Dynamics of Whistleblower Retaliation Cases

Whistleblower retaliation statistics

The modern world is full of duality, so much so that it can be extremely confusing and even frustrating to understand what the best course of action is to take or why you may feel a certain way. And with constantly having to come face to face with mixed, and often conflicting societal messages, it can be downright emotionally exhausting and draining.

Take for the example, the conflicting messages people are constantly being bombarded with by the advertising industry. Be unique but still buy these designer clothes like everyone else. Celebrate your body as it is and embrace your flaws, but you could still afford to lose a few pounds — hey, just saying. Be a tough, macho man but remember to show some emotion or else you’ll come off asa jerk, and no one likes a jerk. Assert yourself as a woman but don’t be too “emotional” or people won’t take you seriously. You get the idea — everyone has encountered these or other similar messages that can make it exceedingly difficult to truly feel rooted in a belief.

The goes for being a whistleblower —gasp. Even that word itself has such a polarized, “dirty” connotation to it. It rings of being a tattletale and making a mountain out of a mole hill — something that everyone was told not to be and not to do as a child. This belief is ingrained in so many people, perhaps even you! On the other hand, people have always been encouraged to speak up. Do you ever remember being told to say something if you see something strange as a kid? Remember how you were told that the truth will set you free?

Well, not always. For some people, specifically for whistleblowers, telling the truth takes a heavy toll on their freedom, something that whistleblower retaliation statistics have proven time and time again. Whistleblower retaliation cases are a plenty, even though many workplaces and institutions have very specific whistleblower protection polices in place to prevent or deter any kind of whistleblower retaliation. Keep in mind that an employer or institution may have a rigid whistleblower policy in place that’s strictly enforced, but it can only be enforced if proof is available that shows the policy actively being broken. This is easier said that done, as intimidation tactics are often done through some kind of loophole.

Yet the fact remains, you should always say something if you see something suspect, especially in the workplace. Don’t let the fear of whistleblower retaliation cases you heard about elsewhere deter you. Speaking up about an issue, a problematic person, or an event can save someone’s life! There are a countless number of whistleblower retaliation cases that show how a tragic event was put to an end or prevented thanks to the information a whistleblower provided. A tidbit of information can change course of history — literally.

Many times, people know the right thing to do is to speak up, but they fear the societal shame and shunning that comes along with being labeled as a tattletale or a whistleblower. Just think of all the negative phrases society has for tattletales, such as a dirty rat. Or the infamous threat that warns physical harm will comes to someone who speaks up; snitches get stitches. As such, it’s easy to see how a person can feel conflicted about speaking up, but it’s important to remember that the law is on your side.

Perhaps one of the most well known whistleblowers and whistleblower retaliation cases known to history is that of Edward Snowden, the highly skilled American computer professional who formerly worked for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in addition to working as a government contractor the National Security Agency (NSA). Shortly after his time working for the NSA, Snowden flew to Hong Kong where he met with reporters to expose classified NSA documents containing sensitive government information that revealing unethical ways in which the American government spies on its citizens. His revelation sparked concern over government surveillance, secrecy, privacy, and national security.

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