Business, Legal & Accounting Glossary

Definition: Whistleblower

Quick Summary of Whistleblower

A whistleblower is a person who exposes any kind of information or activity that is deemed illegal, unethical, or not correct within an organisation that is either private or public.

What is the dictionary definition of Whistleblower?

Dictionary Definition

A Whistleblower is a person (typically an employee) who reveals evidence of wrongdoing or malpractice within a company or organisation.

Within the UK, this practice is officially termed – making a disclosure to the public interest.

A disclosure may be made to various parties; including an authorised person within the company; an authority outside the company; or in some instances the media.

Employees have legal protection (in most but not all jurisdictions) from dismissal coming about as a direct result of whistle-blowing; particularly in instances where the company’s actions endangers others, harms the environment or breaks the law.

Full Definition of Whistleblower

In US employment law, a whistleblower is an employee who reports illegal activities of the employer. Various acts and statutes afford protection to the whistleblower against employer retaliation. Special whistleblower acts also protect specific groups such as federal government employees and members of the military. Collectively these are called whistleblower laws. From the investor’s perspective, a credible whistleblower may signal that there are serious management issues at a firm which could create significant liabilities. The whistleblower, however, is typically protected even if the allegation proves false, as long as the whistleblower believed the reported activity was illegal. Whistleblower claims that come to light must, therefore, be evaluated with care. The term whistleblower is sometimes written as one word, whistleblower.

Examples of Whistleblower in a sentence

The whistleblower was fired for exposing poor working conditions in hospitals across the country.

Synonyms For Whistleblower

whistle blower, whistle-blower, informant, snitch, informer

Cite Term

To help you cite our definitions in your bibliography, here is the proper citation layout for the three major formatting styles, with all of the relevant information filled in.

Page URL
Modern Language Association (MLA):
Whistleblower. PayrollHeaven.com. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. July 13, 2020 https://payrollheaven.com/define/whistleblower/.
Chicago Manual of Style (CMS):
Whistleblower. PayrollHeaven.com. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. https://payrollheaven.com/define/whistleblower/ (accessed: July 13, 2020).
American Psychological Association (APA):
Whistleblower. PayrollHeaven.com. Retrieved July 13, 2020, from PayrollHeaven.com website: https://payrollheaven.com/define/whistleblower/

Definition Sources

Definitions for Whistleblower are sourced/syndicated and enhanced from:

  • A Dictionary of Economics (Oxford Quick Reference)
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Accounting
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Business & Management

This glossary post was last updated: 5th February, 2020 | 4 Views.