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July 3, 2019

"Stand up for what’s right, even if you stand alone.

Suzy Kassem

Mujeres y Allies,

Every week there seems to be another scandal of people behaving badly caught on cell phone videos.  In the current environment of heightened racial anxiety where Black and Latino communities are being targeted--the videos are an important way to call out injustices or civil rights violations.  It’s also true that employee activism is growing inside large companies about pay equity, sexual harassment, or the poor treatment of contractors. Google employees staged one of the largest global employee walkouts last year over the exit package provided to an executive for his inappropriate sexual relationship with an employee.  The consequence to the two women organizers has been significant.  If you find yourself aware of something illegal, immoral, or unethical--it’s essential to know your rights.  Federal workers are protected by the Whistleblower Act of 1989 but inside private companies, this is not the case. 

This week’s #3LVCareerHacks is dedicated to making sure you know how to raise your voice for good and protect your career. 

Tip #1  Make Sure You Have the Facts Right

If you are going to raise a complaint at work, do your homework and document what you know to be fact versus rumors. If you are thinking of taking on your boss or another leader for bad behavior or if you think your company is doing something unethical or illegal--be prepared to provide proof and be careful how you gather that data.  If at the end of the day you break the rules to get information and it turns out to prove nothing happened--you now need to face the real potential that you may have broken the rules. Ask trusted colleagues to help you assess the situation or seek the advice of a lawyer for your concerns. The last thing you want to do is to have to retract your complaint because you misunderstood something.  

Tip #2  Make Your Voice Heard Inside First

Thinking of going to a reporter with your story? Wait.  Give yourself the benefit of the doubt that the injustice you see is potentially something your company may not know about or that it is aware and is actually working to address the problem.  Depending on the issue, you may start with your own company’s compliance team--typically set up as part of human resources, quality control, legal or ethics department. Find out what the reporting process requires and what protections the company guarantees to employees who bring legitimate complaints forward.  If you report the problem internally first, it may have less of a negative impact on your career than starting with a call to the New York Times. 

Tip #3  Have a “Plan B” Before Reporting

If your research confirms the problem is real and you are convinced that you must report on an unethical boss or some unethical activity, plan for how you’ll take care of yourself.  You may want to have a different job already lined up so you can avoid a sudden loss of income if you are fired for complaining. You may want to have a lawyer present when you make your complaint to guide you with their response.  You may also want to bring together your personal board of advisors to support you. The key is to anticipate the challenges that you may face and practice self-care and compassion for what you will face for “doing the right thing”.  

That’s it. #3LVCareerHacks on important steps to take if you might be a whistleblower at work. 

Got a comment for us? Give us a shout at @SavvyLatinaInfo @LatinaVIDA360 or on our Facebook Group. We’d love to hear from you!  If you’ve made one of the CareerHack tips work for you, we may feature you in the next LatinaVIDA360 Career Power Hacks Podcast! 

Live Your VIDA with Intention! 


Your LV Familia!


P. S. Remember, here are the other LatinaVIDA resources for you:

  • Evernote Notebook of Curated Work-Life Resources, Readings and Tips

  • Join our Private Facebook Group

  • LatinaVIDA360 Podcast Latina Leaders in Conversation and NEW Career Power Hacks

  • Our #Slack Community to Share Experiences with LatinaVIDA Circle Guide

  • Past #3LVCareerHacks Newsletters (please share with friends and family)

  • Latina Cubicle Confidential: A Personal Blog from our Co-Founders


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