Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Legal Protections from Whistle blowing Violations

Employees who expose workplace violations or illegal employment practices are often subjected to retaliation, harassment, discrimination acts and even termination by their employers or co-workers. While some of these people may not know it, these acts violate both federal and state laws on whistle blowing.

The article, "Whistleblower Receives Large Settlement and New Job; How Employment Attorneys Can Help You", posted on April 29, 2008, gives an account of how an employee went through the ordeal after reporting on his superior’s illegal activities and emerged successful from it.

According to the article, a woman employee of Kentucky governor Ernie Fletcher blew the whistle on the administration’s illegal hiring practices. As a result, she was fired and dismissed from her job.

The woman employee filed a complaint of retaliation and wrongful termination case against the administration. With the help of her employment attorneys, she received $ 500,000 as compensation for her claims and got a new job.

Under federal and state laws, whistleblowers are protected against acts or violations arising from their accusations against their employers. Violations of the whistle blowing laws such as retaliation, harassment, discrimination and wrongful termination are addressed by some statutes and laws.

While they do not afford any specific whistleblower protections, these other statutes may assist in the prosecution of those who retaliate against whistleblowers:

  • 18 U.S.C. Sec. 1031- Major Fraud Acts of 1989
  • 18 U.S.C. Sec. 1505 - Penalties for obstruction of government investigations
  • 45 U.S.C. Sec. 60 - Penalties for obstruction of government agency proceedings