What to Do If You’ve Been Fired for Whistleblowing

What to Do If You've Been Fired for Whistleblowing

When you blow the whistle because your employer has violated the law, you likely have helped to keep others safe. However, whistleblowing involves risks that you should be aware of. Some employers retaliate against employees who blow the whistle against them. There are protections under the law for whistleblowers in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and an attorney who practices employment law may help you to pursue the remedies that may be available to you.

What whistleblowers are

Whistleblowers are employees who report their employers for committing illegal acts. The particular activity may take different forms, including health and safety code violations, engaging in workplace discrimination, filing fraudulent claims for payment or others. Whistleblowers make reports when their employers have pressured them to do certain things that are illegal or when their employers have violated the law.

Whistleblower protections

In both New Jersey and Pennsylvania, there are circumstances in which your employer cannot terminate or otherwise punish you for refusing to do illegal acts or for whistleblowing. These include the following:

  • Refusing to do something illegal that has criminal penalties
  • Evacuating when there is an order to evacuate
  • Making a report of suspected child abuse
  • Providing help to an inspector, filing a complaint or exercising rights to get information about dangerous chemicals
  • Filing workers’ compensation claims in good faith
  • Reporting safety and health violations
  • Reporting Medicare fraud
  • Reporting violations in nursing facilities, hospitals or assisted living centers

There are several federal laws that protect employees who report employers that commit environmental harms, endanger others or inhibit public transportation that is safe. If your employer has terminated you or punished you for engaging in any whistleblower action, you may have grounds to file a lawsuit against the company.

What to do if employer retaliation has occurred

It is a good idea to consult with an employment law attorney even if you have not been fired for whistleblowing. If your employer has demoted you, cut your pay, cut your hours or changed your schedule to inconvenient hours, you may have grounds for filing a retaliation action. A New Jersey or Pennsylvania attorney who fights for employee rights may provide you with specific information about what happened to you as well as file a complaint on your behalf.

How wrongful termination is related to whistleblowing

If you file a lawsuit against your employer, your retaliation claim may be filed because you have been fired for whistleblowing. This type of claim is made when an employer terminates the employment of a worker in violation of the law. The attorneys at Swartz Swidler LLC can draft and file this claim for you. They might also file a claim for retaliation if you still have your job but your employer is retaliating against you in other ways because of whistleblowing. Call our office today to schedule your consultation.