Many employees are hesitant to report the illegal activities of their employer, for fear of retaliation, which may cost them their job and their benefits. Those that choose to do so, are considered whistleblowers. Fortunately, there are state and federal laws in place to protect whistleblowers, as explained by the US Department of Labor. Many laws that protect employees, such as anti-discrimination laws, health and safety laws and wage and hour protections, make it illegal for employers to retaliate against those protected by the law. Employers that aim to retaliate against whistleblower employees are engaging in employee discrimination, and may face a lawsuit brought by the employee or criminal prosecution.
Employer retaliation includes actions against the employee, such as; firing, intimidating, demoting, reducing pay and much more. If an employee experiences this form of discrimination, and decides to file a lawsuit against the employer, the employee must prove: (1) they were engaged in a protected activity, (2) their employer was aware of, or believed, they were involved in a protected activity, (3) the employee suffered adverse employment actions and (4) that the employees involvement in a protected activity caused the employer to take such action.
Making the decision to report the illegal activities of an employer is tough, and occasionally frustrated employers choose to retaliate against employees that choose to do so. If you have been a victim of employee discrimination, due to your involvement in reporting company misconduct, and feel that your employer is retaliating, call 1-833-DARFOOR to speak to a whistleblower lawyer to determine your rights.
Have you ever witnessed another employee or been an employee that was discriminated against by an employer for reporting wrongful acts? Please leave a comment on our Facebook page. We look forward to hearing from you.