As a whistleblower, it's natural to have concerns about retaliation. After all, there's a good chance your company won't be happy with you reporting its illegal business practices.
Although whistleblower retaliation is illegal under both federal and state laws, it still remains a concern. There are many forms of retaliation, including but not limited to:
- Disciplinary action
- Reduced hours
- Pay cut
The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) prohibits employers from retaliating against an employee who files a complaint or partakes in an OSHA investigation.
If you have reason to believe that you're the victim of whistleblower retaliation, here's what you need to do:
- Collect documentation that proves the retaliatory actions were a direct result of your participation in the investigation in question
- File a complaint with OSHA
- If OSHA finds that you were the victim of retaliation, work with the agency to seek remediation, such as back pay and/or reinstatement
Despite the fact that it's illegal to retaliate against a whistleblower, many companies become so upset with the employee that they take retaliatory action. While it may feel good at first, it often backfires in the long run.
As a victim of whistleblower retaliation, learn more about both federal and state laws, such as the New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA), that protect you. Once you better understand your situation, take the necessary steps in holding your employer (or former employer) responsible for their actions.
You have legal rights, so do your part in protecting them. Letting your employer break the law and get away with it is never a good idea.