Whistle-blowing occurs when an employee reports illegal activity being carried out by their employer or co-workers. Whistleblowers are quite important. Whistle-blowing enables transparency and justice. Unfortunately, whistle-blowing is an action that has consequences. Often, whistleblowers are threatened and intimidated. Some whistleblowers even end up losing their jobs.
However, the good news is that if an employer takes an adverse employment action against a whistleblower, such as terminating them, a qualified whistleblower attorney can help. This article discusses common reasons whistle-blowing occurs, the laws that protect whistleblowers, and how a whistleblower attorney can help you if your employer has retaliated against you for whistle-blowing.
Common Reasons Whistleblowing Occurs
There are many reasons why whistle-blowing occurs. The following are some top reasons employees choose to be whistleblowers;
- Abuse of authority
- An employer violating workplace safety rules
- An employer discriminating against a protected activity or class
- An employer violating public health laws and causing illness or death
- Mishandling of funds
Laws That Protect Whistleblowers
If an employee blows the whistle and their employer retaliates against them, the employee can take legal action against their employer. This is made possible by both state and federal whistleblower laws. In New Jersey, the Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA) makes it unlawful for employers to retaliate against employees for whistle-blowing. This law protects employees from retaliatory acts such as being fired, demoted, or passed up for a promotion.
Federally, the following are some of the laws that protect whistleblowers;
- The False Claims Act
- The Whistleblower Protection Act
- Occupational Health and Safety Administration Whistleblowers laws
- The Securities and Exchange Commission Whistleblowers Act
- The No-Fear Act
- The Military Whistleblower Protection Act
How a Whistleblower Attorney Can Help You
If you believe your employer has retaliated against you for whistle-blowing, an attorney can help you in several ways. Firstly, a whistleblower attorney will look at the evidence in support of your retaliation allegations and advise you accordingly. A whistleblower attorney will advise you on whether you have a case. The following are the required elements of a successful whistleblower retaliation claim;
- A reasonable belief the employer violated a law
- The employee engaged in a whistle-blowing activity. For example, they reported the conduct to a public body.
- There was a negative reaction to the whistle-blowing activity. For example, the employee was terminated.
- There is a connection between the whistle-blowing activity and the negative reaction from the employer.
If you have a case, an attorney will advise you on how strong or weak your case is. They will advise you on whether you need to gather additional evidence.
Secondly, a whistleblower attorney will help you take the necessary legal action. For example, if your case requires filing a lawsuit in federal court, a qualified whistleblower attorney can help you file a successful lawsuit.
Lastly, a whistleblower attorney will fight for the compensation you deserve. Some acts that protect whistleblowers provide compensation to them and their loved ones.
Contact Us for Legal Help
If you believe you have been retaliated against for whistle-blowing, contact the experienced and dedicated New Jersey employment lawyer at The Trabosh Law Firm. Call us at (856) 874-8840 to learn more about how we can help you.