Labor laws are designed to protect workers in many different industry sectors. Some employers do not adhere to the labor laws, so lawmakers enacted laws that allow employees to report labor law violations to the U.S. Department of Labor. Lawmakers also passed laws to protect whistleblowers from retaliation for reporting the violations. The attorneys at Swartz Swidler may be able to help people who want to report violations so that they might be protected.
What are whistleblowers?
Whistleblowers are people who either refuse to participate in or who expose illegal or unethical conduct by their employers or by the government. Illegal activities might involve safety and health violations, employee benefits violations, wage and hour violations, workers’ comp violations, and others. The violations may include single acts of wrongdoing or rampant abuse and fraud.
Making reports to the Department of Labor
The Department of Labor is made up of multiple agencies, and you need to know which agency within the department that is responsible for enforcing the labor law that governs your issue. The facts of what occurred will determine which agency you should file your complaint with. The attorneys at Swartz Swidler can help you to determine the correct agency within the Department of Labor with which you should file your complaint.
When you file a complaint, the process may vary depending on the particular agency and the law that governs your issue. When you are preparing to blow the whistle, you should consider the following things:
- Consider whether the issue can be resolved within your company;
- Thoroughly document complaints that you have made about the problem and the reactions are handled by management;
- Identify the laws and agencies that govern your issue; and
- Make certain that you know the deadline for filing your complaint and follow it.
Keeping your job after reporting your employer
While whistleblowers play a vital role in society, they are often retaliated against by their employers. If you blow the whistle, you may face workplace retaliation, including harassment, negative reviews, demotions, transfers, pay cuts, and the loss of your job.
Most whistleblower laws contain provisions that prohibit retaliation. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration enforces anti-retaliation provisions that are contained in 22 different laws. Some retaliation claims have very short deadlines of as little as 30 days, so it is important for you to move quickly.
Get help from experienced employment lawyers
If you want to report your employer for illegal activities, it is important for you to talk to an experienced whistleblower attorney. The lawyers at Swartz Swidler might be able to help you with your claim. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.