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Protecting Whistleblowers since 1977

13 Essential Survival Tips

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In GAP's experience, we've noticed that employees remembering a few simple tips can be the difference between winning and losing a whistleblower case in the long-term. Please be sure to review these before deciding to proceed.

These tips are detailed at length in GAP's publication, The Corporate Whistleblower's Survival Guide. It contains parallel recommendations for keeping something even more important than your job: your sanity! All of the tips have full paragraph explanations, while some are detailed for pages. For more information on the book, click here.

  1. Consult your loved ones.
  2. Test the waters for support among your workplace peers.
  3. Before breaking ranks, consider working from within the system.
  4. Always be on guard not to embellish your charges.
  5. Seek legal and other expert advice early.
  6. Stay on the offensive with a well-thought-out plan.
  7. Maintain good relations with administrative and support staff.
  8. Network off the job: identify potential allies such as elected officials, journalists, or activists with a proven track record.
  9. Keep an ongoing, detailed, contemporaneous record as you go.
  10. Identify and make an index of the titles and locations of all relevant documents before drawing any suspicion to your concerns and get advice from an experienced SOX or Dodd Frank whistleblower lawyer.
  11. Engage in whistleblowing initiatives on your own time and with your own resources, not your employer's.
  12. Check for skeletons in your closet.
  13. Do not reveal your cynicism when working with the authorities.

Bear in mind that these tips are to help you prepare for the worst. In fact, however, many companies with integrity do not retaliate against whistleblowers, and want to solve problems rather than “kill the messenger.”