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Mar 9, 2020

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Whistleblowing and Employment Retaliation


Whistleblowers have reached prominence in modern society as public protectors. Whistleblowers often take personal risks to protect the public from fraud and misconduct by businesses and even governments that would otherwise go unchecked. This admirable role, however, is not without consequence. Many people who “blow the whistle” on their employer do so at the very real risk of losing their jobs. Sometimes, it is more than just a job, it is a decades-long career that they put on the line to make sure that the misconduct they observe is identified and stopped. 

If you have blown the whistle on your employer, and you feel as if you have suffered workplace retaliation or even termination, consider calling a qualified whistleblowing attorney who also has significant experience in employment law to help you consider your options. In the meantime, here are a few frequently asked questions to get you  started:


  • How do I know if I have faced workplace retaliation? Workplace retaliation after whistleblowing can take many forms. The most obvious form is the termination of employment or demotion that has nothing to do with your job performance. Less obvious forms of retaliation may include the creation of a hostile work environment or a change in job duties that makes your job more difficult, less desirable, or have less room for upward mobility. It can be difficult to prove workplace retaliation, so it is important that if you think you have been the victim of retaliation after whistleblowing, make sure to keep excellent records of your workplace interactions, job performance, and any correspondence you have with human resources or management regarding changes in your job requirements. 



  • What kind of protection do I have? Both state and federal laws offer whistleblower protection. The purpose of these laws is to encourage employees to report the misconduct of their employer that otherwise may go unchecked. The law that applies to your retaliation claim is dependent on the type of whistleblower report that you have made. Not all laws offer the same degree of protection from retaliation, so it is important to consult with a whistleblower attorney familiar with the law that applies to your claim who will be able to advise you regarding your rights. 



  • What should I do if I have been retaliated against? If you are certain that you have been fired or otherwise retaliated against due to a whistleblowing report, you should consult with a qualified and experienced attorney as soon as possible. Make sure that you preserve any evidence surrounding the circumstances of your termination or other retaliation and share it with your attorney. The sooner you consult with an attorney and file an employment discrimination claim related to the whistleblowing, the sooner you will have a resolution to your difficult situation and the more likely you are to be successful in your claim.


Whistleblowing and workplace retaliation is a somewhat common combination, but there is something you can do. Know your rights and consult with a qualified whistleblower attorney, like a whistleblower lawyer in Richlands, Virginia, to make sure you take advantage of the protections in place for whistleblowers.

Thank you to the experts at the Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt for their insight into whistleblower law.

Whistleblowing and Wrongful Termination


When you decided to blow the whistle on your employer, you no doubt understood that you were taking a risk. Nevertheless, you also understood the importance of holding your employer accountable to the law and to the public and you chose to report. Now, here you are, wondering if you made the right decision because your life does not look like it used to. Perhaps you have been fired, perhaps your job duties have changed significantly, and for the worse. If this sounds like you, there may be something you can do.

Most state and federal whistleblowing laws contain provisions that protect employees who report the wrongdoing of their employers. These laws are designed to encourage people, just like you, to speak up when they see something amiss. If you believe you have been terminated or retaliated against because you blew the whistle on your employer, consider contacting a whistleblowing attorney specializing in employment law today to discuss your options. In the meantime, review these basic questions and answers that may help you understand your options.

  • What is wrongful termination? Wrongful termination is when an employer fires an employee for exercising his or her legal rights. In the context of whistleblowing, your reporting was most likely protected by state or federal whistleblowing statute which prohibits employers from firing employees for reporting wrongdoing. In this case, you may be able to file a wrongful termination lawsuit against your employer. Note that the basis for your lawsuit will vary with the law of your state and the law that applied to your whistleblowing report.


  • What is workplace retaliation? Workplace retaliation is a lesser form of wrongful termination, though it may feel even more stressful. Workplace retaliation for whistleblowing may take many forms. Perhaps you received a demotion, or got passed by for a promotion that your performance justified. Maybe you were denied a bonus, or your office was moved to an undesirable location. Maybe your job was relocated all together. Perhaps your job duties changed so that they are harder, require longer hours, or otherwise feel like a demotion. It may even be as simple as you experiencing hostility or verbal abuse from your managers or coworkers. Like wrongful termination, many whistleblower laws prohibit retaliation from an employer based on your whistleblowing report. You may be able to file a lawsuit seeking compensation for the retaliation.


  • What can I do to get my old job back? One of the available remedies in a wrongful termination or retaliation lawsuit is to force your employer to give you your job back. Often, however, after blowing the whistle and then suing your employer, you are likely not on good terms and going back to work at your old job may cause more problems than it solves. Fortunately, there are other remedies, such as monetary compensation that allow you to get money for any missed salary or inability to find new work.

If you believe you have been wrongfully terminated or retaliated against after blowing the whistle, contact an experienced whistleblower attorney, like a whistleblower lawyer in Richlands, Virginia, today to find out what they can do to help.

Thank you to the experts at the Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt for their insight into whistleblower law.