Standing Up for Illinois - Office of Lt Governor Pat Quinn

Before blowing the whistle you should consider the following:

  1. Is what you observed a violation of a law or regulation? Whistleblowers are generally protected from retaliation if they cooperate with government investigations into violations of laws and regulations.
  2. Do you have evidence of the corruption? A successful whistleblower suit needs evidence. Be sure to keep records and documentation.
  3. Did you break any laws or regulations? Exposing corruption will not necessarily relieve you of any liability. If you are worried about your own complicity, seek independent legal advice.
  4. Do you know of corruption by a publicly traded corporation? If so, you may be protected by the new Sarbanes-Oxley Act. This law protects most whistleblowers from retaliation if they expose corruption including violations of federal law and regulation and misconduct that reduces shareholder value. The US Department of Labor investigates allegations of retaliation against private whistleblowers.
  5. Are you a member of a union/under an employment contract? Your union or other employment contract may have specific provisions concerning whistleblower protections.
  6. Is the government corruption you witnessed at the federal, state or local level? If federal level, go to for more information about your rights. If state level, contact the Office of the Executive Inspector General. If local level, verify that the government has enacted a whistleblower law. If so, follow the rules of that law. If not, consult the Inspector General or Legal Counsel for that government.

Want more advice? Go to for more tips and resources. The Office of Lieutenant Governor cannot provide you with legal advice nor can we investigate allegations of corruption.