Most employers are fond of violating laws and regulations in the workplace. When this happens, some employers feel obligated to report such issues. Reporting such matters is not always welcomed by some employers, and thus they end up retaliating against these employees. According to federal and state laws, no employee should be retaliated against because of whistleblowing. Unfortunately, not many employees are aware of whistleblowing and how the law may be applied if they are retaliated against. If your employer has violated the law, you may speak with him/her. If these things don’t change, consider reporting the matter to the appropriate office without fear of retaliation. The law protects you when you do the right thing by reporting the wrongdoing and safeguarding other employees from harm.
Understanding Retaliation And Whistleblowing
A whistleblower is a person who exposes illegal information or acts within a company, whether private or public. For instance, an employer may be using false certification to make students get good grades from an educational institution. If you report such a case, your employer may fire you from your job. In this way, the employer can be said to be retaliating against you. Retaliation is when an illegal action is taken against an employee believed to exercise their workplace rights. If an employer is engaged in such acts and it proven so, he/she may be faced with severe legal repercussions. An employee always must report such actions. If you have reported such acts and your employer has retaliated against you as you tried to protect your workplace rights and that of others, you may have an excellent chance to recover damages. But such an act requires boldness, which can be obtained if you choose to work with an employment law attorney in California. As a way to punish you, your employer may have denied your rights to:
Be paid your minimum wages
Rights to join any union
Rights to receive overtime
If your employer interferes with your legal rights as an employee, you can bring up a retaliation claim against him/her.
Filing A Retaliation And Whistleblowing Claim
Fighting back against your employer due to fishy projects or activities is somehow scary. However, keeping in mind the laws and policies that are in place to protect employees, there is no fear of taking legal action. One way to ensure you are not afraid of retaliation is to hire a lawyer to help you file a wrongful termination claim. Fortunately, if you are sure to be fired from your job because you exercised your legal right, you can sue your employer through a wrongful termination lawsuit. The law protects employees who serve as witnesses on unsafe working conditions. But, before filing your claim, you may choose to:
Meet with your employer: Sometimes, your employer may be willing to rectify the illegal deeds. Your employer may act fast if he/she learns about your knowledge of how the law protects you. If this is not possible, then you may need to take a legal step.
Speak with an employment lawyer: Retaliation and whistleblowing are sensitive legal cases requiring lawyer’s help. Again, the rules governing each may vary from state to state. However, with an experienced employment lawyer, you can determine whether your case is valid. And if so, get to learn the best strategy to follow in coming up with a successful claim. If you have a valid case, your lawyer may choose to:
Negotiate the matter with your employer
Help you file a complaint with the relevant government agency such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Most of the retaliation claims require the victim first to file a claim with an administrative charge. Your lawyer can guide you to the relevant agency.
File a claim to court;
To file your claim, you will need to show that:
You engage in a protected activity that involved enforcement of the law, such as reporting a violation.
Your employer knew about it.
From the employer’s knowledge, you suffered an adverse employment action.
What Damages Will I Receive?
Once your case is successful, you can be assured to get the below damages in your wrongful termination case but not limited to:
Wages you lost after being wrongfully terminated.
Expenses incurred after being fired from a job such as seeking another employment
Lawyers’ fees and court costs
In rare cases, you may also find yourself being awarded punitive damages. This is if the employer’s acts are deemed to be of gross misconduct. The damages are to stop the employer from repeating such acts to others and warn other employers to refrain from such actions. In whichever way, your employment lawyer will be there to advise you on every step to take to ensure you win and recover damages incurred. You don’t have to worry about upfront fees; most employment lawyers offer services on a contingency basis. Meaning, you will only be required to pay if your case wins.