It takes an extraordinary amount of courage to speak out against wrongdoing, especially when that act of courage could cost one his or her job. If you are speaking out about illegal actions at your place of employment, you may worry about how this could affect your job, your future career opportunities and even your professional reputation. As a whistleblower, there are protections available to you on a state and federal level.
You have the right to fight back if you experience any type of mistreatment after speaking out. It is illegal for an employer to act against you in any way for exercising your rights as an employee who is concerned about illegal activities. It may be helpful for you to learn more about the Department of Labor’s whistleblower protection laws and how you can shield yourself against any mistreatment that you may experience.
Unfortunately, whistleblowers often experience retaliation after they engage in a type of protected activity, such as reporting their employer for illegal acts. While the specific type of retaliation you may encounter can include a range of things, some of the most common ways this happens is through the following:
- Denial of overtime pay
- Refusal to promote
- Being fired or demoted
- Experiencing harassment or discrimination
- Reducing pay or hours
Whistleblowers may report their employer for improprieties related to fraud, safety violations, wage and hour law violations, employment of underage individuals, mine hazards, agricultural violations and more. Regardless of why you filed a complaint or made a report, you should not have to suffer mistreatment for taking a stand. It may prove helpful to first seek a legal opinion regarding the specific ways you can report your employer and protect your rights at the same time.
Why an attorney can be useful to you
There are different whistleblower laws that offer you protection against mistreatment for speaking out against wrongdoing. However, these laws can be complex, and it is often difficult to determine what protections may apply to your specific situation. Thankfully, you do not have to navigate this difficult situation alone.
It is in your interests to have the experienced guidance of a knowledgeable attorney at every step of the process. An experienced legal ally can help you navigate the challenges that often follow the act of whistleblowing, including confronting retaliation you may experience.