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Do you consider yourself a whistleblower? Things to know

You may not go through life with the idea that you will one day be a whistleblower. However, depending on the circumstances of your employment and what happens around you, you could find yourself in this position at some point.

The Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 outlines your legal rights. It also states that it is unlawful for an agency to take personnel action or threaten an employee because he or she brought some form of wrongdoing to light.

There are many types of negative personnel actions that could come into play, including demotion, poor performance reviews, termination or suspension.

Also, the law is in place to protect against retaliation for filing a grievance, complaint or appeal.

If for any reason you feel that you have been the victim of whistleblower retaliation, it's time to learn more about your legal rights. You don't have to sit back and hope that things work out, as this may give your employer more reason to make life miserable on you.

In addition to better understanding the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989, don't hesitate to focus on any state laws that are in place to protect you.

Once you have a better idea of what went wrong, you can implement a plan for moving forward. This will provide you with the guidance you need to make informed and confident decisions every step of the way. In the end, there's nothing more important than protecting your legal rights and making sure your employer doesn't get away with treating you poorly just because you are a whistleblower.

Source: Office of Inspector General, "Whistleblower Resources," accessed Dec. 28, 2017

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