Whistleblower Retaliation Claim Lawyer Washington DC
There may be situations where you, as an employee, observe or discover wrongdoing by managers or others working for your employer. Those violations of law, or efforts to defraud investors or the state or federal government, are serious and costly.
What could go WRONG:
You lose your job or are otherwise subjected to an adverse employment action over your doing the right thing and bringing the issue to the attention of your employer or governmental authorities to remedy.
The RIGHT CHOICE:
You have rights as a whistleblower.
You have the right not to be retaliated against for exposing illegalities. There are many federal and state statutes that may apply, depending on who your employer is and what industry is the subject matter. The following is a partial list of pertinent statutes:
- U.S. Constitution First Amendment, protecting public employees who speak out on matters of public concern
- 42 U.S.C. § 1983, applying First Amendment protections to state and local government employees
- Consumer Product Safety Act, 15 U.S.C. § 2087, protecting employees who blow the whistle on consumer safety hazards and law violations
- The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, 7 U.S.C. § 26, and
- Sarbanes Oxley Act, 18 U.S.C. §1514A, protecting corporate whistleblowers
- Securities Exchange Act, 15 U.S.C. § 78u-6, protecting corporate and investor whistleblowers who expose fraud against shareholders
- Defend Trade Secrets Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1833(b), protecting whistleblowers who disclose trade secrets when they report suspected violations of law
- Environmental whistleblower protection laws, there are at least a dozen such federal laws
- Whistleblower Protection Act, 31 U.S.C. § 3730(h) (for federal employees)
- Department of Defense Contractor Fraud Act, 10 U.S.C. § 2409, protecting defense contractor employees against retaliation for whistleblowing
- Government Contractor and Grantee Whistleblower Protection Act, 41 U.S.C. § 4712, protecting contractor and federal grantee employees
- False Claims Act whistleblower retaliation provision, 31 U.S.C. § 3730(h)
- Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) whistleblower protections, 26 U.S.C. § 7623
- Federal Whistleblower Protection Act, 5 U.S.C. § 2302
- Food safety whistleblower protections, 21 U.S.C. § 399d
- Heathcare protections, 29 U.S.C. § 218C
- Military whistleblower protections, 38 U.S.C. § 4311, 10 U.S.C. § 1034
- National security and intelligence whistleblower protections, 50 U.S.C. § 403q
- Nuclear safety whistleblower protections, 42 U.S.C. 5851
- Occupational Health and Safety Act protections, 29 U.S.C. § 660(c)
- Privacy Act protections, 5 U.S.C. 552a
- Transportation safety whistleblower protections, 49 U.S.C. § 42121 (airline safety), 49 U.S.C. § 30171 (automobile safety anti-retaliation), 49 U.S.C. § 31105 (truck safety)
- Workplace discrimination has its own anti-retaliation provisions for protesting discrimination or otherwise engaging in protected activity
- Many states also have anti-retaliation provisions in their false claims act statutes and whistleblower states, but it is wise to check your state to determine whether your category of employment, that is, public or private, is covered.
I have been privileged to represent courageous whistleblowers who seek justice and compensation for being subjected to retaliation for exposing corporate and governmental wrongdoing. While the nature of your employer will likely dictate what laws may apply to your situation, the Right Choice entails a thorough review of your situation to determine the appropriate laws under which you may receive remedies.
Whistleblower Retaliation Claims
If you have been fired or demoted because you reported a company’s illegal actions, or if you have been otherwise retaliated against, you may be able to file a lawsuit under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, also known as SOX, or other whistleblower laws like Dodd-Frank and FCA. Because whistleblower claims are unique to employment law, if you are pursuing one as an employee you will probably want to contact an employment attorney to help you with whistleblower claims.
What Will Happen If I Report An Illegal Activity At My Job?
If you report an illegal activity at your job, your employer may not take any action against you. However, if your employer does take action against you, such as firing you or demoting you, then you may have a claim for whistleblower retaliation. Some examples of illegal activities that you can report include fraud, waste, and abuse; these can fall into two categories of illegal activity and wrongdoings. Illegal activity is specifically forbidden by law. Wrongdoing is prohibited by workplace rules, policies, practices, or customs. Reporting wrongdoing to authorities can help protect people in the community from harm and injury due to the wrongdoing.
What Is Whistleblower Retaliation?
Whistleblower retaliation is when an employer takes adverse action against an employee because the employee reported misconduct. This can include firing, demotion, suspension, or any other type of punishment. Whistleblower retaliation is illegal under both state and federal law.
How Do I Know If My Employer Retaliated Against Me For Whistleblowing?
There are a few different ways to tell if your employer has retaliated against you for whistleblowing. The most obvious is if you experience a sudden change in treatment at work, such as being demoted or fired without warning. Other signs can be more subtle, like being passed over for promotions or assignments you would normally be given. If you notice a change in your treatment at work and you think it may be due to retaliation, it’s important to speak with an experienced attorney who can help you evaluate your claim.
What Should I Do If I Was Terminated After Reporting Something Illegal?
You should immediately consult with an experienced attorney to discuss your legal rights and options. You may have a claim for retaliation if you were terminated because you reported something illegal or in violation of company policy. An attorney can help you determine whether you have a claim and how to proceed. If you believe that the termination was retaliatory, it is best to act quickly. If there is no time frame for filing your complaint, the law allows one year from the date of discovery, or three years from the date of termination (whichever is shorter).
Can I Be Fired If I Report Illegal Activity In The Workplace?
If you report illegal activity in the workplace and your employer retaliates against you, you may have a claim for whistleblower retaliation. To prove a retaliation claim, you will need to show that you reported the illegal activity to your employer and that you suffered some adverse action because of it. Adverse actions can include being fired, demoted, or passed over for a promotion. If you think you have been retaliated against, you should speak to a lawyer to discuss your options.
Contact an attorney today at Eric Siegel Law for help with your case!