Employee whistleblower claims pose reputational risks to employers because these claims are often brought by higher-level employees and implicate corporate compliance issues. So, when an employee decides to go against its employer and report fraud, safety issues, or other major problems, the employer understandably gets upset. Being upset is understandable but retaliation against an employee is illegal.
Whistleblower retaliation occurs when an employee is discharged, demoted, suspended, harassed, or subjected to a hostile work environment after engaging in one of the statutorily enumerated, protected whistleblower activities.
Protected whistleblower activities include:
- Filing: initiating a lawsuit or other legal proceeding
- Opposing: refusing to perform an activity you believe is illegal
- Reporting: making a complaint about an alleged violation of the law
- Testifying: providing oral statements in a legal proceeding
There are many important federal whistleblower protection laws that protect employees, contractors, and agents from whistleblower retaliation and reprisals. The most important ones include the:
- Federal False Claims Act (FCA): protects qui tam whistleblowers from retaliation after they complain about or oppose government fraud
- Dodd Frank Act (DFA): protects whistleblowers from retaliation after they provide original information to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Commodities Futures Trading Commission or the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection
- Sarbanes Oxley Act (SOX): protects whistleblowers from retaliation after they complain of mail fraud, wire fraud, bank fraud, securities fraud, or violations of SEC rules or regulations or federal laws relating to fraud against shareholders
- Whistleblower Protection Act (WPA): protects federal government employee whistleblowers from retaliation after they report agency misconduct
To win your whistleblower employment retaliation case, you must show:
- You suffered retaliation after engaging in conduct protected by a whistleblower law;
- Your employer was aware, or “on notice,” that you were engaging in a protected whistleblower activity; and,
- Your employer retaliated against you because of your protected whistleblower activities.
Contact an Employment Retaliation Lawyer
If you have been the victim of whistleblower retaliation, you should immediately seek legal advice from a whistleblower retaliation attorney. Our whistleblower retaliation attorneys provide assistance to whistleblowers throughout Louisiana and across the United States.