Whistleblower Facts: What do I do if my boss is doing something illegal or fraudulent? (Part 3)
In this series we are offering some advice to those who might be in a position to ‘blow the whistle’ (whistleblowers) on the illegal or fraudulent activity of their employers.
6. Hotlines are for dummies. Chances are that if your company is large enough, it has a whistleblower hotline. They are usually toll free numbers, or calls to the corporate office, where you can call and ‘confidentially’ report wrongdoing. If you think you’re going to report wrongdoing to the wrongdoers and hope that something will be done, chances are you’re in for a surprise. And the ‘confidentiality’ they promise isn’t always true (see RULE 8). While it is true that some hotlines can dial you into the people in your company that are most likely to affect change, do you really want to place your career in the hands of the people involved in the fraud? Before you decide to report to a hotline, you may want to finish reading these rules…especially the last one.
7. Corporate compliance officers, quality assurance officers and human resources managers are NOT on your side. Remember that anyone you report wrongdoing to internally works for the company. And if the company is complicit in the wrongdoing, you are only bringing attention to yourself and screaming that you are the weak link in their chain of evil. These officers are under no obligation to protect you or your interests from negative consequences.
8. You can’t trust in their promise of confidentiality. Unless your company has thousands of workers, it isn’t very difficult for officials to pinpoint those few that would access to the knowledge of wrongdoing of which you are complaining. Once they begin their investigation and start talking to witnesses and others relating to the violations, they will narrow it down to YOU. Even if they can only whittle their suspicions down to a few employees; that just means that none of you are safe.