New York employees who notice something unethical or illegal going on at their workplace may want to alert the public about what they know. When an employee brings a concern to the public's attention, this is referred to as whistleblowing. Though whistleblowers may bring negative attention to their employer, they are legally protected from retaliation.
An employer may be able to avoid some of the consequences by having a whistleblower policy in place. A whistleblower policy is an agreement that can be added to employment contracts. Meant to protect both employees and employers, whistleblower policies will include the steps that employees should take when they have a concern about company practices.
All of the employees at a company should be trained on the proper procedures for addressing a concern as well as how to act when another employee has become a whistleblower. Employers should try to investigate and resolve employee's concerns quickly and be as open with their employees as possible during the process. In addition to a plan for addressing concerns, a whistleblower policy may contain an agreement about penalties for employees who report false claims.
While a whistleblower policy is important to have in place, the best way that an employer can avoid whistleblowing is to not engage in unlawful employment practices. Employees who report unlawful activities at their workplace to the proper authorities are protected from employment discrimination. If an employee was fired or demoted for whistleblowing, an attorney may be able to help the employee to pursue financial compensation.