The topic of this informative essay may seem controversial, and it is evident that not all people have the same opinion on it. Nevertheless, it is incredibly important to raise employees’ awareness and talk about their rights, safety, and protection if they are in a situation that will be discussed below. One would agree that, even though ethical leadership is becoming more and more welcomed, many leaders still cannot be relied on. It is due to the fact that they may be involved in fraudulent schemes, conduct illegal transactions in secret from the staff, or force them to participate in such activities as well. Fortunately, the rights of those workers who dare to disobey the orders of unethical managers are now well protected, and this will be discussed in this paper.
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Blowing the Whistle on Workplace Wrongdoing
Consider an employee who goes to work every day and then suddenly notices that their company ignores major safety or health issues. They may also find out that a couple of their colleagues is involved in illegal activities in secret from their boss, or the firm’s leaders themselves make the staff participate in fraudulent schemes (United States Department of Labor, 2021). All these situations require this employee to complain about malpractice at the workplace, or in other words, blow the whistle on the wrongdoing.
Depending on a specific situation, there are several options the worker should consider when making the disclosure. First, if they are certain that their employer is not involved in the schemes, it is a good choice to inform them about the issue or malpractice to ensure that it will be addressed quickly (Occupational Safety and Health Administration, n.d.). Numerous companies also provide their staff with the possibility of anonymous complaints and confidential disclosures that are still the key to the problem’s solution but also keep the whistleblower in safety (United States Department of Labor, 2021). Eventually, it is also possible to report the illegal activity to a prescribed person, legal advisor, and government minister (Occupational Safety and Health Administration, n.d.). What one needs to consider carefully before informing anyone is if the information is actually true and the body one is disclosing the issue to is the right person. Unfortunately, in some cases, the whistleblower can be threatened or even punished for the disclosure, and this is the reason why everyone should be aware of Whistleblower Protection Programs that secure the rights of brave and honest employees.
Whistleblower Protection Programs
According to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) (n.d.), “retaliation is an adverse action against an employee because of activity protected by one of these whistleblower laws” (para. 2). Retaliation involves actions like blacklisting, firing, disciplining, reducing hours or pay, intimidation, denying promotion, or making threats. In other words, for example, if an employee informs their leader about workplace wrongdoing and then gets fired, it is considered an illegal action by the employer, and the whistleblower can contact OSHA and file a complaint (United States Department of Labor, 2021). After the case is investigated and it is determined that retaliation in violation has occurred, the company’s leader will be required to cancel all actions against the worker.
To draw a conclusion, one may say that it is never appropriate to remain silent in case one’s colleagues, managers, or leaders are involved in or make one take part in illegal activities. Even if these fraudulent schemes seem beneficial and promise increased profit, which may lead either to the higher success of the company and all employees or merely the benefit for the boss themselves, they should not be tolerated by the staff. On the contrary, it is the responsibility of each and every worker to blow the whistle on the workplace ignored issue or wrongdoing in a timely manner. If no employees tolerate illegal activities of their managers or colleagues, they will gradually be reduced to a minimum.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration. (n.d.). OSHA’s whistleblower protection program [PDF document].
United States Department of Labor. (2021). The whistleblower protection program.
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