Considering whether you should come forward to report your employer’s unethical and at times, illegal behavior can be a heavy decision to contend with. Whistleblowers put nearly everything at risk when they decide to expose their employers. Not only do they put their jobs at risk, they also put their reputation and livelihood at stake as well. Hollywood has romanticized the stories of some of the most high profile whistleblowers by making their stories into movies.
Unfortunately, those who come forward are often met with a significant amount of animosity. Although there are certain protections in place for federal employees, it’s not uncommon for a whistleblower to experience retaliation by their employer. Hiring an attorney who practices in whistleblowing can be beneficial in protecting your rights when faced with workplace discrimination and legal entanglements as a result of coming forward.
Whistleblower Protection Act
In efforts to protect federal employees who come forward to report wrongdoings, Congress took action by passing the Whistleblower Protection Act. When coming forward results in retaliation by your employer, and a connection can be proven, it may be important to involve an attorney’s counsel for their representation. According to a variety of sources, examples of governmental wrongdoings a whistleblower may come forward with:
- Violation of laws or regulations
- Gross mismanagement
- Abuse of power
- Risk to public safety
- Risk to public health
Whistleblowing can be an act of heroism. Not only can it effect change within organizations, it can help to make changes within laws enforced by our country.
Retaliation and Discrimination
For most, doing the right thing has been inherently ingrained into how we function in the world. As a result, experiencing or witnessing wrongdoings in the workplace can leave many feeling the need to come forward to report them. Despite the need to do what is right, many will likely pause when it comes to the company they work for. Not only might an employee have concern for how they will be treated as a result, they may also have no idea of how to initiate the process. Unfortunately, for a person who has taken the risk to come forward, they are putting themselves and their livelihoods at stake. Retaliation is a form of workplace discrimination that comes in many forms, including:
- Job Loss
- Pay Reductions
- Disciplinary Acts
An employer who has engaged in gross misconduct may take every action they deem necessary to reduce the risk that they are exposed to for their actions. Although there are protections in place for employees, this is an unfortunate risk that whistleblowers may have to face.
Why You Need an Attorney
When retaliation in the workplace has been experienced, you will need to prove the connection. An attorney can be useful in this and provides you with representation you require in protecting your rights. They will need to review and analyze the details surrounding your case to help prove that you experience poor treatment as a result of coming forward. They will work to prove that:
- You were retaliated against when engaged in a legally protected activity
- Your employer knew that you were actively involved in whistleblowing
- The retaliation was directly related to whistleblowing
Not only can an attorney help to ensure that you are protected throughout the case by keeping your rights at the forefront, they can also provide you with the representation you are in desperate need of.
As a federal employee, whistleblowing is considered a legally protected act. If you believe you have experienced retaliation as a result, contacting an attorney is almost always a necessary next step. Contact a lawyer, like a whistleblower retaliation claim lawyer in Washington, DC from Eric Siegel Law, who can provide you with the legal assistance you need and deserve.