Maloney O'Laughlin PLLC fights for employees throughout Washington, from Seattle to Spokane.

Maloney O'Laughlin PLLC fights for employees throughout Washington, from Seattle to Spokane.

What stops people from reporting workplace wrongdoing?

On Behalf of | Jun 8, 2022 | Retaliation, Whistleblower

There is an expectation that businesses always maintain ethical practices. When someone witnesses corporate wrongdoing, that person may want to report the breach.

Unfortunately, some who learn of inappropriate activity are reluctant to become whistleblowers. There are a few reasons why they may hesitate to file a report.


People who call out corporate malfeasance have legal protections. Employers cannot harm workers in response to revealing misbehavior. Still, whistleblowers are right to fear losing their jobs or suffering a pay reduction. Even Capitol Police intelligence analysts have been targets of retaliation. The odds of such harm are lower when the whistleblower has a lawyer ready to take action.


Someone might be subject to sexual harassment or other forms of taunting. The notion of approaching human resources or management over it could be intimidating. Victims may fear that authorities will say they are overreacting. Even revealing the matter to a sympathetic individual will leave some feeling self-conscious.


The desire to fit in with others is universal. Bringing unwanted scrutiny has the potential to trigger derision from coworkers. Exclusion from cherished social circles can be emotionally trying. It takes a strong individual to risk severing friendships for a higher purpose. It requires equal integrity to put up with snide looks and whispered comments every day. Those who risk suffering this outcome for the greater good deserve our respect.

Although the law protects whistleblowers, it takes courage for anyone to step forward. We must honor those with the strength of character to speak up.