Whistleblowing is a word that is relatively new to the American lexicon. For may people, the term was first heard when they watched Julia Roberts in the movie Erin Brockovich. So in the legal context, what is a whistleblower? That depends on the particular law that is being applied.
There are many state and federal laws that provide whistleblower protection. Each such law has a definition of “whistleblower” either written in a statute or developed by the courts who interpret the law. The most common definition of a whistleblower is someone who objects to, refuses to participate in, or testifies as a witness to unlawful conduct. But there are certain exceptions to this definition. For instance, under some whistleblower laws, a person who’s job it is to investigate and report misconduct is not eligible to be a whistleblower for reporting the misconduct.
The law in this area can be quite complicated. It is a good idea to seek legal advice if you believe you have a whistleblower claim.