Whistleblower Retaliation

Blowing the whistle on fraud and abuse could be the most important decision of your career or, indeed, your life; the team at Pelton Graham is here to help you.

Because wrongdoers take steps to hide their activities, whistleblowers play an important role in the fight against corruption. These same wrongdoers, exposed or fearful of being exposed, often take action against real or suspected whistleblowers.

Frustrated young woman in yellow sweater standing at table and touching face with hand on her face while packing stuff in office after dismissal

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Retaliation is All-Too-Common

Retaliation is therefore an all-too-common result of whistleblowing, despite numerous laws designed to prevent it. The whistleblower protection laws are a state and federal patchwork, some dating back to the Civil War era, and solid legal advice is needed to determine the most favorable path through the maze. Each agency and legal framework have different retaliation prevention provisions.

Pelton Graham are experienced retaliation lawyers and will fight to protect your rights. If you are retaliated against for protected activity, you can be reinstated, get damages, back pay, attorney’s fees, etc., depending on the particular law involved. Pelton Graham will fight to protect your rights.

Examples of retaliatory actions:

  • Termination

  • Reassignment

  • Demotion

  • “Write-ups” for non-violations
  • Change of shift/short hours/no overtime
  • More subtle actions, such as isolating, ostracizing, mocking, etc.
  • Blacklisting, i.e., interfering with an employee’s future employment
  • Constructive discharge, i.e., forced to quit when employer makes working conditions intolerable

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Seek Protection from Retaliation

Whistleblowers are strongly encouraged to seek out an attorney to assist them in bringing a claim. A good attorney can, first of all, help protect you from retaliation. Then your attorney will gather the most relevant information, create a persuasive narrative of the activity, contact the correct agencies, and communicate with government attorneys. In addition, some agencies can only guarantee anonymity to the whistleblower if he or she has an attorney.

When and what to report—and to whom—are primary considerations for employees looking for protection against retaliation while reporting potential wrongdoing at their company.

We’re Here to Help

If you have reported a situation and are feeling the effects of retaliation, you should act promptly to seek advice. This is important in order to protect your employment situation and because whistleblower and labor laws have limitations periods which could act to bar your claim.

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