Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Legal Action For WhistleblowersPosted on January 23, 2023
Our whistleblower lawyer can share that while whistleblowers may be protected when they come forward, they can also be incredibly vulnerable and at the mercy of their employers. Despite retaliation being illegal, at times, employers may still engage in this type of behavior, which can profoundly impact the person experiencing retaliation. The days and months moving forward may be intensely stressful, and whistleblowers deserve representation in place that can help them protect their rights. Eric Siegel Law recommends that working with a professional can provide a path for whistleblowers to move forward by providing legal support that they can count on. The following are common questions whistleblowers may have regarding the act of whistleblowing and the process moving forward:
What is whistleblowing?
A whistleblower is someone who comes forward to expose unlawful or unethical acts that pose a risk to the health and safety of the public. There are several misdeeds that a whistleblower may expose: financial crimes, bribery, fraud, improper disposal of hazardous waste, and more. Many situations of this nature may come to light because of the steps taken by a whistleblower to report these unlawful acts. In most cases, a whistleblower is someone within the organization who has witnessed these activities. As an incentive for coming forward, there are protection programs for whistleblowers, protecting them from retaliation through the Department of Labor’s laws. Depending on the business sector or agency, there are several different whistleblower protection programs:
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
- Wage and Hour Division (WHD)
- Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP)
- Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA)
What is the best way to initiate the process when considering whether to blow the whistle?
When considering whether or not to blow the whistle, it’s natural that people will want to know the process involved in coming forward. First, it will be essential to determine whether corruption or unlawful activity is present. A lawyer can assist in reviewing what has occurred and help to outline the process for filing a complaint with the appropriate agency. If the complaint is valid, an investigation process will ensue, and once they have comprehensively investigated the complaint, a determination is typically made.
Are whistleblowers protected from retaliation in the workplace?
When a person has blown the whistle, they have engaged in a protected act under Whistleblower Protection Laws that make it unlawful for them to be retaliated against. Retaliation is any adverse action that was a result of exposing the organization’s misgivings which can include the following behaviors:
- Pay Reductions
What are the advantages of accessing help from a lawyer?
Working with a whistleblower lawyer can bring several advantages to those who have come forward. The process can feel overwhelming, and a lawyer can take on a key role in guiding the process, sharing what to expect, and helping with filing the complaint. In addition to this support, lawyers can keep their client’s interests at the forefront. They may also be able to keep the whistleblower’s identity secret while protecting their clients in instances involving retaliation.
What are some common ways to proceed with searching for a lawyer?
One of the most important decisions a person can make is carefully choosing the right, experienced lawyer to protect them. The best way to proceed is by taking the time to research lawyers and meeting with them in person for a consultation so they may determine whether the prospective lawyer is the right professional to represent them.
Blowing the whistle can be a harrowing experience, and many, are at risk of experiencing repercussions. Working with a lawyer can help with navigating the process of reporting wrongful acts and taking legal action should you experience retaliation.