I was recently involved in a car accident. Unfortunately, since it was my first accident, I was scatter-brained and anxious. What I did not realize at the time was that the actions you take immediately after the accident can affect a personal injury case and the outcome of that case. I wanted to find a way to share my experiences and mistakes with other. Since the Internet is so popular, I figured this would be a great way to do so. While you likely aren't planning on being in an accident soon, if you are, hopefully you remember some of the tips I share on this website.
In any organization, uncovering wrongdoing often relies on the help of whistleblowers. However, because the whistleblowers can often cause a lot of trouble for their employers, they are often subject to retaliation and need protection through whistleblower retaliation laws. If you believe you are being retaliated against for the legal act of whistleblowing, a lawyer can help.
Common Ways That Employers Retaliate
The most obvious form of retaliation is when the employer fires you. However, retaliation can come in several other forms, such as giving you an unfairly negative evaluation, passing you up for a promotion, giving you a pay cut, demoting you, or simply making your time in the workplace uncomfortable.
You may have been promised to be rehired, but your employer won't rehire you now after the whistleblowing action. You may even be added to a blacklist. If you are not sure if you're being retaliated against, you'll want to get in contact with a whistleblower lawyer immediately. You may be able to file a retaliation claim.
Even if the form of retaliation that you are experiencing is not listed, your state may have additional grounds under which you can file a claim for whistleblower retaliation. In general, you must show that you were engaged in a protected activity, the employer knew you were engaging in this activity, you suffered an adverse action related to your employment, and the adverse action was the result of your activities.
Defenses Against Whistleblower Retaliation
Your employer might argue that they didn't know about your whistleblower activities or that your termination was in process before they started. Or, your employer might argue that there was a justifiable reason for the adverse employment actions that are unrelated to your activities.
Your employer might also argue that you didn't follow the right procedure when whistleblowing. In some states, issuing a complaint is a protected activity. In other states, you must bring the issue to your employer's attention first under "fair play" laws before you are able to issue a complaint.
Advantages of Filing a Complaint
Your employer may be forced to reinstate you, and you may also be compensated for double your normal wages for the period of time when you weren't employed. You will be reimbursed for attorney's fees, and the employer may also be disciplined if they are a federal employee. However, you will have a limited amount of time to file a retaliation claim, so contact a whistleblower lawyer immediately.