How to Protect Yourself If You Become a Whistleblower
The nation’s attention was recently captured by the story of a long-time White House security advisor who claims she was subjected to a variety of retaliatory acts after stepping forward as a whistleblower. The acts that she cited ranged from being suspended without pay and having files repeatedly stored out of her reach (she suffers from dwarfism). The recounting of what happened to her put the spotlight on the rights of whistleblowers to come forward and report wrongdoing that they observe without fear of retaliation, as well as the protections to which they are entitled.
Retaliation against a whistleblower on the part of their employer can take many forms, but it all boils down to them acting in a way that punishes their employee for reporting a violation of the law. Whether this is a violation of employment laws or reporting a fraud being perpetrated against the government, when employees come forward and report that laws are being violated, they are acting to facilitate the goals of government enforcement agencies, and as a result they are both eligible for significant financial rewards and protected against retaliation by whistleblower protection laws.
These laws protect whistleblowers from being fired for making complaints about legal violations, about failure to pay overtime, for taking leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act or any other legally protected time off, including for taking workers’ compensation leave or filing a workers’ compensation claim. Whistleblowers also cannot be fired for reporting illegal or unethical corporate behavior or corporate financial wrongdoing.
Though whistleblower laws exist, that, unfortunately, does not stop or prevent retaliatory acts from happening. The best way to protect yourself is to work with an experienced whistleblower attorney. By having competent and aggressive legal counsel on your side, you can take immediate legal action. In many cases, a company that retaliates against a whistleblower can be sued and the whistleblower can receive compensation for the damages that they suffered.
If you were fired, demoted, or in some other way feel that you are the victim of whistleblower retaliation, contact our office today. We will review your situation and make sure that your rights as a whistleblower are protected.