Many people living in New York, Connecticut and Washington, D.C., have become aware of wrongdoing in their workplaces. These individuals often struggle with how to handle this knowledge. Unfortunately, even well-intended people can lose their jobs and, in some cases, their professional reputations after becoming whistleblowers.
While most businesses strive to comply with laws and regulations, others do not. In such environments, workers often become aware of violations that are seemingly tolerated and even encouraged by management. Unfortunately, when management and ownership are complicit in illegal or immoral actions, employees who try to do the right thing may suffer retaliation.
In some cases, employer retaliation means that the worker is fired, subjected to harassment, demoted or transferred to a less-than-desirable position. Some whistleblowers have actually found themselves accused of wrongdoing and have had their professional reputations smeared.
Fortunately, there are some protections available for whistleblowers, depending on where they live and the types of violations reported. Those who are protected by these laws may be able to save their jobs if they are able to show that they were fired or demoted due to reporting violations rather than poor performance. Those who decide to report wrongdoing can protect themselves by documenting their discoveries as well as the actions that they have taken.
Individuals who have concerns about whether they might suffer negative consequences for whistleblowing could benefit from speaking with an experienced attorney. The lawyer may review the client's circumstances and make recommendations for going forward with whistleblowing in a way that protects employment. An attorney could also assist a client who has already been unjustly terminated for exposing non-compliance or dangerous conditions.