It’s understandable that employees may have concerns about reporting illegal or unethical behavior within their organizations. They may fear that they could be demoted or even terminated for speaking up.
Employees who report their concerns to government entities are called whistleblowers and there is helpful information about the protections they are entitled to.
An employee may make a federal whistleblower complaint for an employer violation he or she personally experienced, such as a sexual harassment claim, or for an unlawful practice like a health or safety violation.
He or she must have a good faith belief that the employer violated the law and must report it to the employer or government agency. Employers are prohibited from retaliating against the employee for making a claim.
If an employee is retaliated against, he or she must demonstrate that the retaliation occurred because of the claim. If an investigator reviews the situation and agrees that the employee was retaliated against, the employer may be required to reinstate the employee to his or her job or provide the employee with back pay.
Qui tam actions
A qui tam action may be brought by an employee who is aware that his or her employer is defrauding the government. The complaint is kept confidential and is not released to the public. The employee may be entitled to a percentage of the money the government recovers.
An experienced attorney can help employees who have whistleblower protection concerns and provide more information about filing a claim.