Understanding Whistleblower Protections in the Workplace


Whistleblower retribution occurs often in the highest levels of business and government, including here in Tennessee. Retaliation happens when an employer takes adverse action against an employee for reporting fraud or misbehavior to a higher-up. This frequently includes firing, harassment, changes in job tasks, and other sorts of “creative” punishment and psychological torture.

When whistleblowers blow the whistle, they are often utterly astonished by their superiors’ lack of corrective monitoring. And the majority are unaware of the different laws that protect them. Thus, whistleblowers must assess the risk of revealing fraud or misbehavior. They should also spend time learning about their rights before taking action, as revenge is the most likely result. You can speak to an employment attorney knoxville to learn more. 

What is a whistleblower? 

A whistleblower is someone who has insider knowledge of illegal, criminal, or fraudulent acts within a company and reports them. Whistleblowers might include workers, suppliers, contractors, clients, or anybody else who becomes aware of questionable company practices. Whistleblowers are protected against retribution by a variety of programs established by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, and the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 provides legal protection for federal employees. 

Many groups focus on whistleblowing, but others specialize in certain areas of it. For example, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is more concerned with environmental and safety infractions. Still, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is more concerned with securities law violations. Many organizations give incentives for useful information, accept anonymous tips, and provide a variety of options for submitting information.

A whistleblower may provide information to corporate authorities or a major governing or regulatory agency. When high-ranking officials and senior members of management are involved in fraud or other criminal conduct, the best course of action is to report the infraction to a regulatory agency.

Whistleblower retaliation – how to prevent it 

The greatest method to avoid retribution is for your employer not to know who you are. If you know about fraud or wrongdoing, you should keep it to yourself or report it anonymously. Before participating in protected behavior, you should get legal advice from a whistleblower retaliation attorney.

Retaliation occurs when an employee chooses to engage in an action protected by whistleblower laws, such as reporting a violation of the law. Furthermore, it may arise if an employer knew or believed that the employee was engaging in the protected behavior. 

There is a lengthy history of retaliation against employees who disclose internally. Furthermore, many whistleblowers have not been given protection from superiors who take hostile actions. Whistleblowers must understand what constitutes retribution in order to avoid, prevent, and stop it from occurring. To make sure your rights are protected, get the help of a skilled attorney immediately. 

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