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Whistleblower Protection Law Related Questions

Whistleblower protection law was set into place as a way to protect employees who tells someone in authority about illegal or unsafe activities that are occurring in their company. The law prevents employers from retaliating against any employee who reports the allegations. You should arm yourself with knowledge about your rights when dealing with this type of situation and you need experienced legal insight. Employment Lawyers on JustAnswer can answer any question you may have related to the Whistleblower Protection Act and whistleblower protection laws. Below are five of the top whistleblower law questions answered by the Experts.

Can an employee have whistleblower protection if they file an internal complaint to HR?

An employee is not a whistleblower if they file a complaint to their company’s HR. In order to be a whistleblower, the employee would have to file a complaint with an agency that investigates violations of certain state and federal laws such as OSHA complaints, SEC complaints, Department of Labor FSLA complains, etc. Many employees assume that if they report issues to their employer that the employer does not care to hear, that the employee is a whistleblower, this is a very common misconception. There is usually no legal protection for employees who report work related issues only within the company.

What can an employee do if their employer unlawfully retaliates against them for being a whistleblower?

If the employee feels that the employer is unlawfully retaliating against the employee for being a whistleblower, usually, the employee can file a lawsuit for damages suffered as a result to the employer’s retaliation. Generally, the employee would want to retain an employment attorney on a contingency fee.

Can a person add a retaliation claim to a pending whistleblower claim if their witnesses are being harassed?

In some situations, witnesses provide vital information to prove a whistleblower case. Because of this, the witnesses may sometimes face harassment from the employer. Usually, you can add a retaliation claim and also have each witness file a discrimination claim based on the retaliation from your employer. By adding the witness’s retaliation claims, they can be investigated also. If the employer is found to be guilty of retaliation, they are usually handed heavy fines for their actions.

Should an employee talk to their employer’s attorney if the employee is the whistleblower?

If an employee is involved in a pending whistleblower case, they should ideally not talk to their employer’s lawyer. Usually, the courts do not allow this activity and your employer’s lawyer should not be contacting you at all. Any information that is given to the employer’s lawyer can potentially hurt your case.

Can a person fire their lawyer if the lawyer isn’t properly representing them in a whistleblower case?

Not only can your terminate your lawyer, you can also make a complaint about the attorney to the state bar office of disciplinary counsel and file a malpractice claim against them. Usually, if you are in the middle of your case, many lawyers will require some money up front. However you can search for attorneys who are willing to handle your case on a contingency fee basis. This means that the attorney’s fee is paid only if you win your case or it is successfully settled out of court. If you can’t find an attorney in time to replace your current one, you should keep a list of things that the current attorney has failed to do. With this list, you can add everything that you have done opposed to what you think the attorney should have done. This will give you an opportunity to dispute his / her fee for these tasks and seek credit for the tasks that you completed if you receive a successful outcome.

Many people find themselves in a situation in the workplace that requires experienced legal insight. You want to know your rights as an employee before you choose to become a whistleblower. Whistleblower protection laws may be difficult to understand for those who have never had to deal with such legal matters. If you have any questions related to whistleblower law, take your questions to Employment Lawyers on JustAnswer. The Experts on JustAnswer answer a wide range of questions related to whistleblower law and can offer options to your individual situation in an efficient and knowledgeable manner.
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