Whistleblower Laws Exist to Protect You From Reprisal
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    Whistleblower Laws Offer Protection Against Employer Retaliation

    Many people feel torn when they discover their employer is violating laws, especially if they are endangering public health and safety. While their job is very important to them, they know that what their employer is doing is ethically wrong, in addition to being illegal. Federal laws provide protections to employees who object to or refuse to participate in illegal activity. There ARE a number of exceptions, however, but a skilled labor lawyer will help you determine how the law applies to your situation.

    In the past, retaliation was common against these whistleblowers, and they were often fired or otherwise retaliated against. Luckily, there are now a number of federal and state laws that protect employees who report their companies for serious violations. If you believe you lost your job due to this type of report, it is important to share what happened with an experienced whistleblower law firm as soon as possible. Experienced with the whistleblower laws, if you were illegally punished by your employer, they will provide your just legal options for maximum recovery and full justice.

    Companies who put employees or the general public in danger often get away with it, despite hundreds of employees who are aware of the violations. Workers who come forward can be harassed or pressured into keeping silent. Being employed those people depend on their job for their livelihood, and this of course can put immense pressure on good people to turn a blind eye rather than face workplace retaliation. At risk for the whistle blower are not only the wages used to pay for food and shelter, but the health insurance that protects their families.

    The fear of losing a job due to retaliation can often easily overtake the ethical half of the equation, especially when no one else's life is immediately at stake. Still, employee reports of wrongdoing are vital to ensure all laws and regulations are being followed. When losing one's job over the report isn't a possibility, it makes it much more likely that an employee will file a report about what their company is doing that is illegal or putting public health and safety at risk.

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    Who Is Eligible For Whistleblower Protection?

    There are a wide variety of workplace violations that, when reported, make an employee eligible for whistleblower protection. The most common include:

    • Environmental Protection Laws: Environment laws are in place to keep the air and water clean. When an employee reports his company for violating these laws though activities such as dumping toxic waste into a nearby waterway, the employee is protected by whistleblower laws.
    • Federal Government or Military Misconduct: All employees of the federal government and the U.S. military are protected under the whistleblower laws if they file a claim that any misconduct has taken place.
    • Political Activity: In many cases, it is not legal to have employees work on election-related work for a political candidate. An employee who reports this type of activity being included in their job duties may be eligible for whistleblower protection.
    • Corporate Fraud: When publicly traded companies participate in fraudulent activities, there are often harsh punishments handed down to the leadership. The temptation to pass this on to the employee who reported the fraud is often too great, so these employees are covered by whistleblower protection.
    • Other Types of Fraud: Employees who report fraud by any employer who has government contracts is protected by whistleblower laws. This includes many hospitals and nursing homes, some pharmaceutical companies, transportation companies and defense contractors.

    Lastly, an employer cannot retaliate in any way -- including termination, loss of promotion or harassment -- against an employee who has filed a claim against them that concerns unpaid wages, worker's compensation, denial of accommodation or leave, discrimination or harassment. Unfortunately, many employers knowing or unknowingly punish whistleblowers, even if it is illegal. If you were fired from your job illegally, or unfairly punished, a whistleblower lawsuit for wrongful termination can help you recover what was lost.

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    What Is an "Adverse Employment Action"?

    Depending on the particular laws that apply in your situation, you may only be eligible to receive a remedy if you were terminated because you reported legal violations by your employer. An experienced EEOC lawyer knows workplace pressure and punishment can take many forms. In most cases, though, the anti-retaliation laws provide a remedy anytime there is an "adverse employment action."

    Were you disciplined in a way which could damage your reputation or future employment opportunities?

    Unlawful termination is obviously an adverse employment action. Being demoted or denied a promotion, or denied overtime or benefits, also typically fall into this category. Some other situations are questionable, though, and often depend on the court that is hearing the case. Other retaliatory occurrences that have been considered adverse employment action include:

    • Formal Discipline
    • Denial of Transfer
    • Poor Evaluation
    • Hostile Remarks
    • Changes in Hours
    • Unwanted Transfer
    • Denial of Onsite Benefits, Parking, Etc.

    If you reported violations, you gave your company the opportunity to fix the situation, but instead they punished you for coming forward, you may have a case. Don't let your boss bully you into silence, or ruin your career and hard-fought reputation for doing what's right. If you are unsure if you qualify share the details of your case with our whistleblower attorneys now and get the answers you seek.

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    How Can I Prove I Lost My Job Due to Retaliation?

    While it is not legal, whistleblowers very often can and do get fired after reporting the company. In a whistleblower lawsuit, in order to recover lost wages and other damages from you employer, you must prove the termination occurred as a direct result of this reports. This typically requires:

    • Proof you reported a violation, or testified against your employer, or proof that company leadership mistakenly thought you were a whistleblower
    • That an adverse employment action -- including job loss -- occurred
    • That there was no other reason for the adverse action

    Being unfairly fired is not necessarily illegal - if you lost your job because you were late for work, failed a drug test, or over documented poor performance, you may not have a case. The best employment lawyers will work with you to uncover evidence and build the case proving your termination was caused by your blowing the whistle.

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    What Is The Statute of Limitations for a Whistleblower Protection?

    Many whistleblower protection laws require pre-filing with either the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Only after these filings have been investigated and approved administratively can a lawsuit be filed, if necessary. Your whistleblower attorney will help ensure you navigate the process successfully.

    If you believe your employer retaliated against you because of a report that is protected by whistleblower laws, you need to share what happened with a qualified whistleblower lawyer as soon as possible. Time is limited, any people are shocked to find out how short the statute of limitations (your window to file your lawsuit claim) is on many of these cases.

    -Some union contracts require a grievance be filed within three days.
    -Some state and local civil service employees may have only ten days to file.
    -Federal environmental laws give whistleblowers 30 days to file a complaint with OSHA.
    -Federal employees who believe they are being retaliated against due to hour and wage or discrimination claims have 45 days to file a complaint to the EEOC.

    If you miss the deadline, it may limit your legal options - but every case is unique. Even if the statute of limitations for whistleblower protection has passed, you may still have legal options, just share the details of your case now - and get the answers you seek.

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    What Can a Whistleblower Lawsuit Accomplish For Me?

    You shouldn't pay for having done the right thing, and when you are unlawfully punished, you have legal rights. A wrongfully termination against your employer may entitle you to significant recovery for being illegally punished in spite of whistleblower law protections, you may be able to recover:

    • Back pay, including interest
    • Reinstatement
    • Compensation for your attorney's fees and other legal costs
    • Recovery for Damage to Reputation& Future Employment Prospects
    • Other special damages

    Talk about your situation with your whistleblower lawyer who specializes in employment laws and employee rights, who will help lay out the legal options available for you. You are under no obligation, and the initial case review is free. If your case qualifies, your attorney will work for you on contingency, meaning no out of pocket costs to you. If you don't win, it costs you nothing. Do not delay, share what happened immediately, so as not to limit your options.

    Get your free case evaluation today with one of our award-winning employment lawyers. You stood up for what is right, now put the full resources of a leading whistleblower law firm to work for you and demand what is rightfully yours.

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