To make sure the workplace is healthy and employees are treated fairly, laws have been created to protect employees in the event that they become a whistleblower. A whistleblower could face retaliation in the workplace, which is illegal. The following is some information about whistleblowing and your rights in the workplace.
Are Whistleblowers Protected by Law?
Whistleblowers are protected by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Department of Labor. The laws for whistleblowers will depend on each case, and some cases may be more protected than others. The employer and the state in which your company operates will also impact the whistleblower protection.
The goal of the laws is to make employees feel safe when reporting or testifying about any unhealthy or illegal actions taken by their employer. The definition of whistleblower activity and the law that protects it are different based on the activity can be narrow or broad, depending on the nature of the activity performed by an employer. Those employees wanting to make a claim for whistleblowing will need to work with an attorney to be sure the laws protect their activity.
Is There a Statute of Limitations for Whistleblowing Cases?
Yes, there is a statute of limitations on a whistleblowing case. One of the biggest issues with whistleblowing cases is the short amount of time you have to bring a case. This is a common defense strategy. The statute begins when the employee realizes he or she is a retaliatory target, not the final day of employment. The statute of limitations will vary by state regarding wrongful termination cases, so you need to bring your case right away if you intend to file suit.
How Can You Prove Discrimination?
There is a wide variety of categories and circumstances that define discriminatory acts caused by whistleblowing employees. Any type of hostile behavior or attitude by the employer solely based on the employee's whistleblowing actions is one example. The fact that the employer knows about your action and treats you inappropriately before you take any action is a sign of retaliation is another sign of discrimination. The procedure used to terminate you, as well as the timing of the termination is also an example. Any threats made against you or your job based on our whistleblowing are a clear sign of discrimination.
If you whistleblowed against your employer and you are experiencing retaliation and discrimination, speak to an employment law firm, such as John H. Haskin & Associates, LLC.