Any employee may become aware of wrongdoing within their organization. However, those in executive and C-suite positions have greater access to this type of information. When you uncover illegal activities in your workplace, you may feel morally obligated to report them. However, you may be worried about what will happen to you if you report an individual at your organization or your employer. If you blow the whistle and report wrongdoing, you need to know that you have protections.
At Bantle & Levy, we understand how vital whistleblowers are to stopping corruption and fraud. You have the right to report wrongdoing to the proper authority figure. Unfortunately, your employer may not respect this right and will seek to cause harm to you and your career. Our New York City whistleblower attorneys can help fight to protect you from retaliation for exercising your rights.
What Is Considered Whistleblowing?
According to the National Whistleblower Center, a simple definition of a whistleblower is “someone who reports waste, fraud, abuse, corruption, or dangers to public health and safety to someone who is in the position to rectify the wrongdoing.” While employees are often whistleblowers, outsiders can also report wrongdoing if they have the necessary information. Naturally, those with insider information are the most likely to become aware of illegal activity.
What Does Retaliation for Whistleblowing Look Like?
If you’ve reported wrongdoing that you discovered in your organization, you’ve done the right thing. However, employers do not always see it that way. After reporting this information, you may experience adverse employment actions for being a whistleblower.
A few examples of retaliation that whistleblowers may face include:
- Bad performance reviews
- Transferring to a less desirable position
- Decreasing pay
- Creating a hostile work environment
What Laws Protect NYC Whistleblowers?
Whistleblowers are essential for shining a light on illegal activity and protecting others within their organization and the public. As whistleblowers help uncover a significant amount of corporate fraud and other wrongdoing, various laws provide protections that enable them to speak up.
A few important whistleblower laws include the following:
- The False Claims Act – One of the country’s strongest whistleblower laws, the False Claims Act allows whistleblowers to file a lawsuit on behalf of the government, known as a qui tam lawsuit, if they’re aware of fraud committed against the government. Whistleblowers have the opportunity to receive a portion of the damages recovered.
- The New York False Claims Act – Similar to the federal False Claims Act, the New York False Claims Act allows whistleblowers to file a lawsuit on behalf of the state when they’re aware of fraud committed against the state.
- The Whistleblower Protection Act – The Whistleblower Protection Act protects federal employees who disclose information that shows a violation of law, rules, or regulations, or mismanagement, gross waste of funds, abuse of authority, or a danger to public health and safety.
- New York State Labor Law – The New York State Labor Law protects employees from retaliation if they disclose or threaten to disclose an activity, policy, or practice that they believe violates a law, rule, or regulation, or that could put public health and safety in danger.
Many federal, state, and local laws also protect employees from retaliation. Various laws that impact specific industries also include protections for whistleblowers, such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, and the Clean Air Act.
Protect Your Whistleblower Rights with Bantle & Levy
Without protections for whistleblowers, it’s possible that many employees wouldn’t be safe reporting crimes and wrongdoing, leaving them to go unnoticed and harming people. If you’ve exercised your right and reported wrongdoing, don’t let retaliation go unpunished. You’ve done your part to help protect others, and you deserve someone who will help protect you.
Bantle & Levy is dedicated to keeping whistleblowers protected. Contact us today to see how we can help protect you and your rights.