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How should you document retaliation for whistleblowing?

On Behalf of | Jan 24, 2024 | Whistleblower Protection

Whistleblowing often leads to complex situations in the workplace, including potential retaliation. An employee who reports unethical or illegal activities within their organization may face adverse reactions in retaliation.

Claims of retaliation can be difficult to prove. However, there are some ways that people who have gone through this can show what’s happening.

Keep detailed records

Maintaining detailed records of each incident is critical. This involves documenting all forms of communication that might indicate retaliatory behavior, such as emails, memos or verbal warnings.

Employees should note these interactions’ dates, times and specific details, ensuring that all evidence is stored securely. They should note any changes in their work environment, including alterations in job responsibilities, shift changes or any form of disciplinary action.

Maintain a timeline of events

After whistleblowing, it is vital to maintain a timeline of all relevant events. This timeline should include the date of the initial whistleblowing report and any subsequent incidents of alleged retaliation. Retaliation must be in response to the whistleblowing, so having these dates can tie those points together.

Gather witness statements

Their statements can be invaluable if colleagues or other individuals witness the retaliation. Employees should approach witnesses discreetly and respectfully, requesting written accounts if possible. These statements can corroborate the employee’s experiences and provide additional perspectives on the retaliatory behavior.

Seek external advice

In cases of complex retaliation, seeking external advice is often beneficial. This may involve seeking legal guidance on documenting retaliation and navigating the legal landscape. Additionally, this can help you gain insight into the rights and protections available to whistleblowers.