Whistleblowing

Whistleblowing: The Legal Ramifications and What You Need to Know

Whistle-blowing is the act of exposing the dishonest or otherwise illegal or dodgy practices of a business, government, or other body. Unfortunately, most whistle-blowers are often targeted by the organization they expose, which can lead to significant mental and financial stress.

Fortunately, you can stay ahead of the ball by speaking with employment lawyers to develop a plan before going public. This might seem difficult, but it will be worth it in the long run – trust us.

In the rest of this article, we’ve covered whistle-blowing in Australia, the legalities of it, and a few things you should consider.

What is Whistle-blowing?

In short, whistle-blowing is the practice of exposing illegal, unethical, or otherwise dishonest information or activities. Often, these activities are being undertaken by large companies and/or businesses, who will usually go out of their way to protect their interests.

There are two types of whistle-blowing.

Internal whistle-blowing generally involves bringing something to the attention of someone within the organisation, such as a supervisor or manager. External whistle-blowing, on the other hand, involves sharing the information with an external source, such as the media or a law enforcement agency.

What Are the Risks of Whistle-blowing?

If you want to expose the practices of a large company or other organization, the chances are that they will fight back. You may be subject to any one of a number of issues, including:

  • Losing your job, especially if you’re exposing the organization you’re working in.
  • Lawsuits from the organization that you’ve exposed.
  • A tarnished reputation.
  • Difficulties getting a new job, particularly if you try to work within the same industry.

Unfortunately, these problems are all too common. Luckily, though, Australia does offer significant protection for whistle-blowers.

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How a Violence Restraining Order Can Protect You

When couples split up one party may become violent or aggressive towards the other. In fact, this often happens well before any separation and can be the sole cause of the split. It can help to take out a Violence Restraining Order (VRO) on them to ensure they don’t come near you.  Criminal lawyers can help you to apply and tell you whether the court is likely to grant the VRO.

No person should have to live in fear of another.  Abuse takes many forms from physical injury to threatening by phone, text message or face to face, to destroying or harming your belongings. It can be stalking you or intimidating you in any way.  It can be done by a spouse or partner, ex- spouse or ex- partner, parent, an adult child or relative, or anyone else.

When you apply for a VRO you will need to tell the court what intimidation or abuse you have suffered.  The court will then make an interim VRO and the police will deliver it to the person involved, called the respondent. They have a 21 day limit in which to object. If they don’t object, the interim order becomes a final order and the person must comply with the terms or face a fine or gaol time.

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best interests shareholders rogue director

Best Interests – Shareholders and the Rogue Director

Shareholders (members) of private companies continually experience angst over their investments.  There is always the greater element of risk when investing in a private and/or start-up company.  More frequently after about six to twelve months they will find themselves bolt upright in bed at 3am suddenly realising that they might not see their money ever again.

The person they have linked their financial fate with is the director (and self-appointed CEO) who promised if they brought the capital he would bring the ideas and execution.  Around the time the first set of accounts are prepared it becomes obvious that he has used most of the money for ‘business development’ activities like lunches with friends and travel.

The avenues that are available to the member depend on the character of the director’s activities.  That is, are the actions fraudulent, negligent, intentionally misleading or just bad business.  The legal remedies available to shareholders will be a combination of the:

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