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Common Forms of Whistleblower Retaliation to Look Out For

HomeBlogCommon Forms of Whistleblower Retaliation to Look Out For
September 14, 2022

Everyone wants to feel safe and welcomed in their work environment, and thankfully there are many laws and regulations that ensure this for employees. However, not all companies follow these laws, and illegal and harmful activity may occur in the workplace. Employees have the right to report any unlawful activity that promotes an unsafe work environment, but this doesn’t always mean that employers will take their reports lightly. At Olivier & Schreiber LLP., we’re here to help employees understand whistleblower retaliation and how our services can help protect your rights in the workplace. 

What Is Whistleblower Retaliation?

A whistleblower refers to someone who reports illicit activity, either by an individual or a company. If an employee informs someone else of unlawful activity, they are considered a whistleblower. Some common items that employees may report about a company include but are not limited to:

  • Instances of Discrimination or Harassment 
  • Safety in the Workplace 
  • Fraud or Any Other Financial Concerns
  • Unequal Pay or Failure to Pay Employees

Employees are protected by law to report any activity that may be illegal or inappropriate for the workplace. However, employees may find themselves faced with whistleblower retaliation as a result of their reports. Whistleblower retaliation is any action that a company takes against an employee for reporting unlawful conduct. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, also known as OSHA, prohibits employers from retaliating against employees for speaking out against the company, however, companies often still retaliate against employees. 

How Do I Know if My Company Is Retaliating?

There are many ways that a company may retaliate against an employee. Here are some common examples of whistleblower retaliation that employees should look out for:

  • Firing the Employee or Laying Them Off

A common response to whistleblowing may be to fire or lay off the employee. This can also be known as wrongful termination, as employees are protected from being fired over reporting illegal activity.  

  • Demoting an Employee 

When an employee is demoted, they are reduced in their job ranking or title. For example, an employee may be moved from a manager position to a supervisor position. Though sometimes employees will voluntarily denote themselves for various reasons, if it is done through retaliation, employees are protected by law. 

  • Denying an Employee Pay or Benefits

Sometimes an employer will deny an employee their full pay or take away their benefits. This is an illegal practice, and employers can get in serious trouble for denying workers what they are rightfully entitled to. 

  •  Threatening the Employee

There are many ways that an employer can threaten an employee, such as warning them that they may be reported to the police. Employers are prohibited from threatening or harassing their employees, and an attorney can help protect employees from harassment. 

What Should I Do if I’ve Experienced Whistleblower Retaliation?

No employee should have to fear retaliation for speaking up against illegal activity. At Olivier & Schreiber LLP., we’re here to help employees learn about their rights and receive the justice they deserve. Our attorneys are experts at carefully evaluating your case and providing legal representation for your needs. 

Contact Our Dedicated Team Today

If you have questions about whistleblower retaliation, contact our team today. You can trust our team to help you with all of your needs. 

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