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.