Do you know of any employee in your firm who has been subjected to workplace harassment? Or are you a victim of unfair pay? As individuals, one fails to report the problem to the concerned authorities. It can be due to deep-stemmed notion or fear of termination.
You should speak to an attorney in any leading whistleblower law firm or educate yourself through news and articles featured in law360.com. You are a whistleblower if you report the wrongdoings at your company or workplace. Stringent federal and state laws protect the interests of the whistleblower.
Here are a few pointers that you should be aware of to protect your interests and rights.
· What are anti-retaliation laws?
Consider a scenario where you have been a victim of unfair pay due to ethnicity, race or color. This unfair discrimination at work hampers the working environment and lowers the morale of the employee. These often go unreported due to fear of termination or other possible harm to family and self.
There are several laws such as the anti-retaliation laws which include health & safety laws, wage and hour protection. This puts the employer in the dock in case of wrongful action against the whistleblower.
· Commonly used anti-retaliation claims
All whistleblowers must take note of the common complaints that makes it an offence to react. Areas include an initiative to protect the environment, reporting corporate fraud, scams by transportation companies, hospitals and so on. The list is not limited to only a handful but covers a broad spectrum of topics.
· What constitutes a “protected activity’?
The scope or the extent of each activity is bounded by law. For example, the Civil Rights Act protect the employees from any form of participation in the subsequent proceedings to put the law into action. There is an “opposition’ clause that requires the employee or the concerned to have a valid reason to affirm that the law had indeed been violated.
If you find that your boss has caused some form of injustice and you caution them, you might be fired. However, note that the claims you make will solely depend on the nature of the law- whether the judge thinks there indeed was a violation or not.
· What constitutes an ‘unprotected activity”?
Take a scenario where you are having a conversation with your higher authority, and you get into a physical fight with them. This does not protect you from the hands of the law and is subject to strict action.
In case the employee’s attitude does not change, and they indulge in the frequent swearing of cuss words or abusing their boss, it can land the employee in a mess.
· Know the rules while you are still working
Legal rights of employees and their bosses have increased to a great extent. Few authorities have their ways of dealing with a whistleblower without terminating them. Frequent transfers, hateful remarks, increase in workload and increase in the discipline will occur.
In such cases, when the court of law finds that the employer intentionally made the work life miserable or forced the employee to quit, a “constructive discharge” is announced that helps the victim get complete compensation or remedy after quitting.
For more details, contact your attorney who will sort out legal things for you.