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Commentary Detail

Protect Yourself, Then Blow the Whistle
Commentary by: Anna Navarro
Aired November 24, 2008

There are laws on the books to protect whistle blowers. But despite them, if you blow the whistle, your employer can make your life miserable. And you can have difficulty finding a new job.

So what do you do if you discover your employer is doing something really wrong, and won't change it?

That was Ted's situation. He worked for an American company that copied expensive shoe styles and made cheap knock-offs.

On a recent trip to China heíd discovered the plant handling most of their manufacturing farmed work out to sweatshops that hired young children who worked in terrible conditions. He was horrified. He called his boss, and was immediately ordered home.

On return, he met with senior management. They said they were very concerned. They assured him the problem would be taken care of. Shortly thereafter, he was reassigned to a job that didnít require travel to China. He was convinced nothing had changed.

Before blowing the whistle, he decided to find new employment, gather documents and make notes of everything that happened.

After he found a new job, he talked to a reporter who covered stories like this. Six months later, the story broke. Tedís name never surfaced. His former company suffered severe consequences both legally and in the marketplace.

I admire how Ted handled the situation. He brought wrongdoing to light and put a stop to what was happening. But first he protected himself and his family.

(The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of St. Louis Public Radio.)

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Anna Navarro

Anna Navarro


Anna Navarro is the founder of Work Transitions, a nationwide organization dedicated to helping individuals find satisfaction and fulfillment in their work.


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