Blow The Whistle
And Do The Right Thing

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Can you take documents from your employer as a whistleblower?

On Behalf of | Apr 17, 2024 | Qui Tam Cases

If you’ve seen illegal activity or misconduct in the workplace that’s wasting taxpayer money, then you might be considering whether you should blow the whistle. Doing so can have several benefits, including protecting taxpayer dollars, stopping criminal activity and, in some cases, obtaining compensation.

But before you can achieve any of that, you have to gather evidence to support your case. Does that mean that you can take documentation from your place of employment?

The challenges of gathering documentary evidence for your whistleblower case

While documentary evidence can be powerful in a whistleblower case, the appropriateness of gathering these records can be tricky. For example, if your claim involves documentation that’s considered confidential or even classified, then your employer may be justified in acting against you in the employment context when you remove those records from your job. You might even end up facing criminal liability. The same holds true if you remove documentation that’s protected by state or federal law, such as medical records. So, when you’re accessing records, consider their sensitivity and whether you would’ve had access to them during the course of your normal employment.

That said, there are certain whistleblower protections that may help shield you from liability for the removal of documents from your employer if you’re reporting illegal activity and other wrongdoing. To make sure you’re staying on the right side of the law while still advancing your position, you should discuss the matter with your attorney before taking action. But don’t let your hesitancy dissuade you from pursuing whistleblower action.

Don’t make a costly mistake in your whistleblower case

You have to be careful as you navigate your whistleblower case. If you’re not, then you could end up losing your job, missing out on compensation, and missing the opportunity to right a major wrong. Before taking a leap into whistleblowing, be sure to have a strong game plan in place that aligns with the law and your ultimate goals.