Making the decision to file a whistleblower lawsuit is an act of both integrity and of courage. A whistleblower is somebody who has inside knowledge of wrongdoing on the part of their employer or an organization with which they work closely. Filing a claim exposes the fraud or unethical behavior and can result in significant savings and benefits for the government or for consumers, as well as the possibility of compensation for the person filing the suit. But coming forward and telling what you know can also be an extremely intimidating and frightening step.  There is always the risk of retaliation, which may come in the form of intimidation, threats of job loss, or demotion.

The government places a high value on citizens coming forward as whistleblowers, and as a result they have established specific protections against retaliation on their behalf, but adherence to these laws cannot be assumed and these protections are not automatic. If you are considering filing a whistleblower lawsuit and want information about your rights, the experienced whistleblower attorneys at Bochetto & Lentz can provide you with the answers you need. We have extensive knowledge and a long record of successfully representing whistleblowers, and we can help you too.

Whistleblowers have a right to protection under the laws that protect the rights of individual workers from discrimination. Additionally, many of the laws that protect the environment and consumers, explicitly include language protecting those who report violations. When a whistleblower feels that they are the subject of retaliation in response to having filed a whistleblower claim, they have the right to file a retaliation claim to protect themselves.

In most cases retaliation claims are filed by whistleblowers who believe that an adverse action has been taken against them as a result of the whistleblower claim that they have filed. Though these claims can be made citing a violation of many different laws, the claim generally needs to establish four different things:

  • That the action that you took as a whistleblower was protected by law. These actions may include filing a claim, offering testimony as a witness, providing documentation, or even being mistaken for a whistleblower
  • That your employer or organization believed or knew that you participated in some way as a whistleblower
  • That you were damaged in some way within your work environment
  • That the damage that you suffered was as a result of the organization’s belief or understanding that you engaged in these protected actions

As an employee, you undoubtedly recognize when your environment changes or attitudes about you shift. Filing a whistleblower suit is a protected act, and if you believe that you are being punished for your action then you may have grounds for filing a retaliation claim. Proving retaliation can be difficult, as employers have a number of ways that they can make their displeasure known but can still lay the blame at the feet of the employee’s performance. The Philadelphia law firm of Bochetto & Lentz have many years of successful experience in representing whistleblowers and making sure that their rights are protected. If you need help, call us today to set up a convenient consultation.

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