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What Whistleblowing Activities Are Protected?

Whistleblowing is a protected activity for individuals who report violations in the workplace. In the U.S. military, there are similar protections designed to help whistleblowers who file complaints concerning violations committed by fellow service members, supervisors or other higher-ranking officials. When violations of the law are reported they are investigated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Employers who retaliate against whistleblowers may be subject to prosecution. If you are a whistleblower who has experienced retaliation, meet with an experienced whistleblower retaliation attorney in D.C. like one from the Federal Practice Group. 

What is a whistleblower?

A whistleblower is an employee of a business, organization or government body who files a report concerning a violation. Incidents can include harassment, mistreatment, fraud, and many more. However, many whistleblowers are hesitant to come forward with information because they fear the backlash that they may experience from their employer or fellow employees. Any activity that is suspected of being criminal or unethical in nature can be reported. If there are issues in the workplace, a whistleblower can sound the alarm and submit a formal complaint with OSHA. 

What activities are protected as a whistleblower?

As a whistleblower retaliation attorney based in D.C. can tell you, certain activities are protected under whistleblower laws. These activities include reporting violations, testifying before the court, or directly stopping activities that are deemed criminal, unethical or appearing to commit safety violations. This means that you will not experience any penalties or prosecution for your actions. These protected activities were defined so employees could be encouraged to come forward with their reports and expose employer wrongdoing. However, states’ definition of protected activities vary widely. If you are unsure about how your state’s whistleblower laws are defined, a lawyer can provide you a detailed explanation of the laws.

What is considered workplace retaliation? 

Employer retaliation for whistleblower activity is illegal. No supervisor or manager employer has the authority to retaliate against an employee for filing a whistleblower report against the company. These actions include disciplinary harm, firing, verbal threats, harassment, reduction in rank, enacting changes to an employee’s schedule, changes to essential duties, or other types of adverse response to an employee’s protected whistleblower activity. 

Why do I need an attorney? 

Whistleblower cases can be intricate, stressful and overwhelming. Having an attorney at your side to handle the most sophisticated and difficult parts of your case can help make the experience much smoother to go through. It can give you peace of mind knowing that you are supported and can rely on an experienced lawyer to advocate for you. You can navigate the process with assurance that your case will be in the right hands. 

Don’t wait to explore your legal options. If you are concerned about retaliation from an employer after reporting suspected wrongdoing, take action now. If you are a whistleblower who has expressed concerns about workplace behavior or activity, you are encouraged to speak with a seasoned whistleblower retaliation attorney to discuss your rights.