Whistleblowing is the act of reporting or disclosing wrongdoing in the workplace. If someone is committing fraud or acting dishonestly at your workplace, a whistleblower act may protect you if you report it.
Thank you to attorney, Bertha Burruezo of Burruezo & Burruezo, PLLC for significant contribution to this article.
WHAT ARE YOUR RIGHTS?
Whistleblowers are protected against retaliation from an employer under the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989. Reprisal acts include but are not limited to; poor performance review, demotion, suspension and termination.
The law also prohibits any adverse action against an employee for filing an appeal, complaint, or grievance; helping someone else file or testifying on their behalf; or cooperating with or disclosing information to the Office of Inspector General (OIG).
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO DO?
If you have been retaliated against for whistleblowing you should report your matter promptly with the appropriate agency.
WHAT TO CONSIDER BEFORE TAKING ACTION?
There are numerous statutes with whistleblower protection provisions that can have complex interpretations. These statutes are specific to different scenarios and provide the length of time you have to bring forward a complaint, your rights and where to report your complaint. Therefore, it is crucial to consult with a lawyer to obtain proper guidance.
As previously mentioned, the statute of limitations will depend on the applicable state and federal laws for a specific situation, and in some cases, it can be only 30 days.