Am I a whistleblower?
A whistleblower is an employee who reports safety concerns, employer violations of the law, or otherwise engages in protected activities. Whistleblowers may report their employer’s corruption, fraud, public health or safety threats, and other violation of state or federal laws and regulations.
Employees may report their concerns within their company, usually to a superior or the human resources department. They may also report their concerns to a third party, such as a government agency like the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA). Both internal and external reports constitute whistleblowing. However, employees should consult an employment lawyer to ensure they report the right information to the correct party.
What types of violations do whistleblowers expose?
Whistleblowers may expose employers’ violations of various of state and federal laws. Here are a few common examples:
- Misuse of investor or client funds: Misusing funds for one’s own personal use without authorization.
- Defrauding the government: Overcharging or otherwise defrauding the government. Medicare fraud is a common example.
- Tax violations: Not paying taxes or otherwise committing tax fraud.
- Insider trading: Illegally trading stocks using confidential information.
- Money laundering: Concealing the source of money obtained illegally.
- Market manipulation: Interfering with the free market by creating misleading information about the market for a security, commodity, or currency.
- Corporate fraud: Violating rules set by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
- Workplace health and safety: Failing to provide a safe workplace environment or failing to report injuries as required by law.
- Transportation hazards: Violating federal and state motor carrier, shipping, and air safety regulations, among other laws affecting the transportation industry.
- Environmental health and safety: Violating clean drinking water and air statutes, as well as toxic waste and solid waste regulations.
- Consumer safety: Failing to follow safe manufacturing or distribution practices in accordance with the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
For example, reporting a violation of the following federal statutes may constitute whistleblowing and entitle whistleblowers to protections under state and federal law:
|· OSH Act||· Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act||· Seaman’s Protection Act|
|· Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act||· Energy Reorganization Act||· Consumer Financial Protection Act|
|· International Safe Container Act||· Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century||· FDA Food Safety Modernization Act|
|· Surface Transportation Assistance Act||· Sarbanes-Oxley Act||· Clean Air Act|
|· Safe Drinking Water Act||· Pipeline Safety Improvement Act||· Affordable Care Act|
|· Federal Water Pollution Control Act||· Federal Railroad Safety Act||· Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act|
|· Toxic Substances Control Act||· National Transit Systems Security Act|
|· Solid Waste Disposal Act||· Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act|
What should I do if my employer retaliated against me?
Work with an employment lawyer at Robert A. Klingler Co., L.P.A. if you reported your employer for unethical or illegal activity and faced retaliation for it. Our employment law attorneys protect workers from discrimination and retaliation in whistleblower claims.
Take careful notes of names, dates, and other details that relate to possible retaliation. Keep copies of all paperwork relating to the case. This will help us evaluate your case and prove your right to compensation under state and federal law.
We will guide you through the process of filing a complaint, help you file a claim, and bolster your case against any defenses your employer may use against you. Call us today at 513-665-9500.