Executive Summary

Protections exist for “whistleblowers” from being penalized at work for coming forward and complaining. Whistleblower complains can include: Discrimination on Human Rights-protected grounds, Harassment and Being asked to do something unlawful or unsafe.

While most are legitimate whistleblowers, there have also been a small fraction that have raised false allegations in an attempt to extort their employers, sometimes threatening to disclose confidential information about the company unless they are paid money that goes far beyond their entitlements in the event of a termination.

Employees should be very cautious in coming forward with information that is false or intentionally crafted to cause embarrassment. All allegations of harassment raised by an employee must be investigated which included speaking with the employee involved and getting other employees to substantiate the claims.

For example, an employee of Ceridian was terminated for refusing to undergo a background check and when the company wouldn’t pay her, she threatened to disclose confidential information that could disparage its reputation. She was ultimately sentenced to 20 days in prison for this.

Employers have recourse when employees make empty threats and Canadian employers should defend themselves from baseless allegations.

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