If You Have the Whistle, Do Not be Afraid to Blow It
In the world of employment law, blowing the whistle is not just something a referee does when a player makes a foul move. The term refers to taking initiative to expose an employer’s wrongdoing to the appropriate authorities, whether those authorities are law enforcement, the regulatory board for the employer’s industry, or simply the company’s upper management team. As an employee, you have access to confidential information about your employer’s actions that the public does not. Exercise your right to promote justice in the workplace and keep consumers safe by reporting any instances of health, safety, ethical, accounting, or legal violations that you witness at your company the appropriate authority.
Filing your Whistleblower Claim
Seek legal counsel before you move forward with your whistleblower claim. Your attorney will determine which pieces of evidence you need and if you do not have them readily available, he or she can help you obtain them. A few examples of valid pieces of evidence for a whistleblower claim are emails or voice messages detailing the alleged violation, documentation of violations occurring at the company, and testimonies from workers involved with the alleged violation.
There are multiple laws in place that protect your right to file a whistleblower claim. These laws are enforced by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Whistleblower Protection Program.
Do not go to the press or social media about your company’s alleged violation. To ensure that your claim is valid and the correct authority, whether that authority is OSHA, the EEOC, or any other regulatory agency can conduct a complete investigation of the claim, follow all correct reporting and investigation procedures as you are told by your attorney and/or the regulatory board conducting the investigation.
If You Face Retaliation
Retaliation is a real threat to whistleblowers. Retaliation is defined as any illegal action taken by a company to punish an employee, such as termination, demotion, poor performance reviews, or forced resignation. If you are a victim of retaliation from your employer, you have the right to take legal action against the company to seek compensation for all that you lost through the retaliatory behavior.
Filing a whistleblower claim is considered by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to be a protected activity. Protected activities also include picketing, discussing one’s experiences with colleagues, and cooperating with an EEOC investigation. Activities that are not protected include making threats to a company or individuals employed with the company and spreading false information about the company.
Employment Attorneys in Winter Park
You have the right to take legal action against your employer without fear of retaliation. If you are considering filing a whistleblower claim or you have already done so and want to know more about your legal rights and options, contact Hornsby Law Group in Winter Park at 407-599-8300 or on the web to set up your free legal consultation with our firm. We can answer every question you have and help you learn your rights as a potential whistleblower.