Can My Employer Retaliate?
Whistleblower Attorneys in Washington, D.C.
Many dangers to public health and safety and other violations of the law
go unreported because the people who know about them fear retaliation
from their employer. With a person’s livelihood, health insurance,
and pension on the line, fear can be the biggest deterrent to reporting
unlawful conduct. However, the False Claims Act (also called the Lincoln
Law) has several provisions that protect employees from retaliation, and
further encourages reporting potentially fraudulent activities through
a 15-25 percent share of any recovered damages.
Additionally, most laws that protect workers, like health and safety laws,
wage and hour protections, and antidiscrimination laws, make it illegal
for employers to retaliate against an employee for whistleblowing. If
the wrongdoer takes any action to demote, terminate, harass, or discriminate
against an employee in any way after he or she has acted as a
whistleblower, the employee has the right to sue for damages.
How Can I Prove I Was Unlawfully Retaliated Against?
In order to successfully sue for damages, most anti-retaliation laws require
that a victim prove the following:
- The whistleblower engaged in protected activity in order to help enforce
the law (i.e. testifying as a witness, reporting a violation, etc.)
- The employer knew or believed that an individual engaged in the protected activity
- The whistleblower suffered an adverse employment action (i.e. discrimination,
harassment, demotion, or termination)
- The whistleblower’s protected activity was the cause of the employer’s
adverse employment action
Causation can be proved either by direct evidence or by inference. In some
cases, causation is clear; the timing and specific actions may speak for
themselves. In other cases, employers who know it is illegal to retaliate
may try to cover up their conduct. A judge will likely infer unlawful
retaliation from things like deviation from normal practices, the use
of false evidence, changing explanations, or a pattern of actions against
those who speak against the employer.
Are You a Victim of Employer Retaliation?
The United States government protects your right to report illegal activity
without the threat of losing your job. If you have acted as a whistleblower
and have experienced negative action from your employer, please get in
touch with an experienced Washington, D.C. whistleblower attorney at Chaikin,
Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. today to request a free consultation.
We are prepared to investigate your situation and help you understand
your qui tam rights. Trusted and respected in Washington, D.C. for more
than 45 years, you can count on our hard-hitting legal strategies to protect
your rights and your employment.
Our office can be reached at (202) 644-8303.