There may come a time when you need to report your employer for certain types of inappropriate activities. This is called whistleblowing, and it can have various financial and legal repercussions.
Employees are often afraid to speak out over fear of retaliation, like losing their jobs and perhaps legal action. However, if you believe you have grounds to report your employer, supervisor or another individual for wrongdoing, the law is on your side. As a whistleblower, you have certain rights.
What to report
Both state and federal laws shield you from the negative consequences of reporting your employer for suspected or verifiable legal violations. The circumstances of each case will determine which laws apply, but in general, whistleblowers are protected for reporting:
- Sexual harassment or discrimination in the workplace
- Environmental law violations
- Safety violations that put employees or consumers in harm's way
- Financial fraud or tax evasion
Knowing the protections granted to you by law can help you protect yourself and your interests going forward.
Fighting back against retaliation
If your employer retaliates by demoting, threatening or firing you, you could have additional claims to add to the case. These actions are illegal against employees who bring valid claims in good faith to the attention of state or federal authorities.
You do not have to suffer in silence.
If you believe your employer or someone else at your work is violating the law, it can be helpful to seek a complete evaluation of your legal case. This step can help you understand what options are available to you to assert your rights as an employee and hold your employer accountable. If you've already experienced negative treatment for reporting valid concerns, it's time to take action.