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To have a better understanding of the background of a whistleblower, select which statement is true?
All of these statements are true. Virtually anyone can be a whistleblower. The notion that a truth teller is an unstable and disgruntled employee with an axe to grind is just plain false.
In our decade of experience as whistleblower advocates, we have encountered whistleblowers from numerous countries and a variety of backgrounds. We have been approached by former executives who were wrongfully terminated and longtime employees with white-shoe resumes and fancy degrees. We have spoken to whistleblowers who earn millions of dollars each year, news reporters who make a fraction of that and one so concerned about privacy, the individual sought to meet in a house of worship.
There are common qualities to our clients and prospective clients. Most employee whistleblowers are company loyalists who first reported suspected wrongdoing to their supervisors or HR. That is to say, whistleblowers do not seek to undermine internal compliance, but typically make earnest efforts – often on multiple occasions – to alert their organization to wrongdoing.
Whistleblowers are courageous people, and probably always lived by the conviction that doing the right thing matters. Not because it’s in their own interest or because the bounties might be enriching, rather they care about the ethical compass of the greater community.
A whistleblower is any of us, the best self in all of us. A whistleblower might be you.