When an employee of a company or agency exposes his or her employer’s legal violation, that employee becomes a “whistleblower.” Whistleblowers can be employees who expose illegal practices ranging from sexual harassment to violations of environmental or safety regulations.
Various whistleblower protection laws exist on both the state and federal levels. These laws are designed to protect employees from retaliatory acts being committed by the employers that they report against. As an example, if an employee reports a violation of the Clean Air Act, that act itself contains provisions making it illegal for the violating employer to fire the employee in retaliation for reporting that violation or misconduct. This form of whistleblower protection exists in many federal laws.
Most states have their own whistleblower laws in addition to the federal protections. These laws vary from state to state with regards to who is protected and the extent of that protection. For instance, they might only apply to public or private employees, and they may or may not include protections for co-workers, or related business entities. State laws also might include laws requiring that whistleblower claims be filed within 90-days, or some other specified duration.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a federal agency tasked with the enforcement of legislation related to health and safety. If an employee is retaliated against in the workplace for taking action in something related health and safety, that employee should consider filing a complaint with OSHA. OSHA provides protection to employees who report violations related to corporate fraud, violations of SEC regulations, railroad carrier safety, air carrier safety, public transportation security or safety, pipeline safety, the environment, nuclear safety, the presence of asbestos in school, and commercial motor carrier safety.
If you feel your employer has taken retaliatory actions such as terminating you for being a whistleblower, you might want to consider consulting our employment law attorney. With the assistance of a qualified employment attorney, especially one with experience in whistleblower cases, you could be able to recover back pay, lost wages, the costs of litigation and other related compensation.
Our employment lawyers are advocates for employees seeking justice after suffering retaliation for a whistleblower action. Call the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP today at 516-358-6900 or fill out our fill out our online contact form to speak with an experienced employment law lawyer. Our skilled attorneys will respond to you immediately and aggressively pursue justice for you. We’ll help you put your life back together.