Whistleblowers uncover misconduct and foster transparency. Their courage in exposing wrongdoing safeguards public trust and holds organizations accountable. Unfortunately, potential whistleblowers often keep quiet because of:

  • Fear of retaliation.
  • Lack of trust in reporting systems.
  • Potential career repercussions.
  • Uncertainty about legal protections.

Whistleblower retaliation refers to adverse actions taken by an employer against an employee in response to their whistleblowing activities. These actions can include termination, demotion, harassment, or other forms of retaliation intended to silence or intimidate the whistleblower. Retaliation undermines the whistleblower’s rights and discourages others from reporting misconduct, ultimately eroding trust and accountability within the organization.

How Can My Employer Establish a Culture of Transparency?

Employers should establish a culture of transparency within their organizations to prevent whistleblower retaliation. It is paramount to cultivate an environment where employees feel safe reporting misconduct without fear of reprisal. Employers should communicate a zero-tolerance policy for retaliation and emphasize the importance of ethical behavior.

Organizations should also implement clear policies and procedures regarding whistleblower protections. Clearly defined whistleblower policies guide employees on how to report misconduct and what protections they can expect. These policies should be easily accessible and regularly communicated to all employees.

Comprehensive training programs can also help prevent whistleblower retaliation by educating employees about their rights as whistleblowers and employers’ obligations to protect them. Training should cover identifying retaliation, reporting procedures, and the consequences of retaliatory behavior.

What Is the Right Way for Employers to Handle Whistleblowers? 

From an employee perspective, the right way for employers to handle a whistleblower incident involves respecting confidentiality, conducting a fair investigation, and protecting the whistleblower from retaliation.

Employers should address the reported concerns promptly, implement corrective actions if necessary, and communicate transparently with all involved parties. Creating a supportive environment where employees feel safe to raise concerns benefits the organization and its workforce.

Are There Legal Protections for Whistleblowers?

From a legal standpoint, whistleblowers are protected by various federal and state laws and anti-retaliation provisions found in statutes such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the Occupational Safety and Health Act. These laws provide legal recourse for employees who experience retaliation for reporting misconduct. They were designed to safeguard employees’ rights and establish avenues for legal action when necessary.

What Should I Do if I Am Facing Retaliation?

If you experience whistleblower retaliation, you should meticulously document all relevant information, including dates, times, witnesses, and supporting documentation. Reporting retaliation promptly should prevent further harm and ensure appropriate action is taken.

Experienced employment lawyers can provide whistleblowers facing retaliation with consultations that explain legal avenues to protect their rights.

What Damages Am I Entitled to for Whistleblower Retaliation?

In whistleblower retaliation cases, damages typically include compensation for lost wages, benefits, and emotional distress. Additionally, punitive damages may be awarded to deter future retaliation. Damages can vary depending on the severity of the retaliation, the impact on your career, and the law. Consult a lawyer to understand your entitlements and seek appropriate remedies.

Contact an Experienced South Jersey Employment Lawyer for Legal Assistance With Whistleblower Retaliation Claims

For experienced legal assistance with your whistleblower retaliation case, contact a knowledgeable South Jersey employment lawyer at Burnham Douglass. Complete our online form or call us at 856-751-5505 for a free consultation. Located in Marlton and Northfield, New Jersey, we serve clients in South Jersey, including Evesham Township, Cherry Hill, Camden County, Burlington County, and Atlantic City.