While most people may hope that government officials in their community would be trustworthy, the truth is that mismanagement, abuse of authority, fraud and other concerns can happen in any sector. However, reporting these concerns can be a daunting prospect for people working for government agencies. Do state government employees have access to the same protections as employees in the private sector that blow the whistle on wrongdoing?
The law protects state employees from retaliation in most cases.
Because of the vital importance of identifying and reporting wrongdoing in government agencies, most state employees are protected from retaliation if they blow the whistle on these concerns. Certain positions, however, are exempt from this protection and may need to take additional steps to protect themselves.
State workers must follow specific protocol to disclose information.
In Wisconsin, employees may discuss evidence of wrongdoing to an attorney, legislature or a representative of their union without reporting that information to others first. However, if they wish to disclose that information to any other person, they must first disclose that information in writing to a government unit or their supervisor.
What can you do if you suspect wrongdoing?
Reporting illegal behavior or threats to the public in local and state offices is especially important because of how deeply these issues can impact the community and the public good. If you have evidence of these issues, consider speaking to an attorney to explore your legal options and take appropriate steps to protect yourself when blowing the whistle.