Fighting Back Against Whistleblower Retaliation
Reporting fraud or other illegal activity by your employer is the right thing to do. But as the old saying goes, no good deed goes unpunished. Employees who “blow the whistle” on wrongdoing often suffer backlash such as being fired or transferred.
State and federal laws specifically protect whistleblowers from such retaliation. The attorneys of Thorman Petrov Group can help if you have information about illegal conduct or if you already reported misconduct and your employer retaliated. We have secured significant recoveries in whistleblower retaliation cases in Ohio and nationwide.
Protections For Whistleblowers
Companies that have contracts with the U.S. government for goods and services are required to deal honestly and fairly. But some employers cut corners, ignore regulations or provide false information to game the system. This creates a dilemma if you suspect your coworker, manager or owner is breaking the law.
The federal False Claims Act and other whistleblower laws apply to many types of illegal activity, including:
- Fraudulent billing
- Safety violations
- Environmental abuses
- Discriminatory employment practices
- Embezzlement or personal enrichment
- Securities fraud
- Bid rigging and bribery
The protected whistleblowing activities vary from state to state, and there are specific protocols for coming forward with information. Our employment lawyers regularly assist courageous employees who are risking their jobs and careers to speak up about wrongdoing. This includes qui tam actions, which allow the whistleblower to collect a reward if government prosecutors recover money against the fraudulent company.
If you are not a whistleblower, you are still protected from reprisal for exercising your employment rights. It is illegal for an employer to retaliate or take adverse action against you for reporting employment discrimination or workplace sexual harassment, for filing a workers’ compensation claim, for asking for disability accommodations, or for taking pregnancy leave or FMLA leave. We can determine if you have grounds to sue.
Making It Right If You Experienced Retaliation
Reprisal can take many forms: termination, demotion or transfer, menial job assignments, negative performance reviews, and harassment or ostracization that creates a hostile working environment. Sometimes, the retaliation is swift and harsh, such as being fired on the spot. Other times, the employer tries to make the job so miserable that the whistleblower quits.
Our attorneys know how to identify and document retaliation to hold employers accountable. Our past successes in this area include:
- A $3 million judgment on behalf of a corporate whistleblower
- A jury verdict in excess of $500,000 for retaliation
- A judgment of $900,000 against an employer and supervisor for retaliation
- A verdict of $7.7 million in an age discrimination and retaliation case on behalf of an older worker terminated under the guise of layoffs
- A $28 million jury verdict in favor of a terminated employee in a retaliation case.
Take The First Step By Talking To Our Lawyers
We help you protect your own interests while calling out the illegal acts. Thorman Petrov Group offers a free, confidential consultation to explore your obligations and your remedies as a whistleblower. To schedule a meeting, call our Cleveland office at 216-777-4163 or use our email form.