12 FAQ's About Whistleblowing And Retaliation | Mann & Elias
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12 FAQ’s About Whistleblowing And Retaliation


Should you find yourself in a situation where your employer is violating laws and regulations or is willfully putting others at risk through their actions, you may decide to reveal what is taking place. Should you do so, you will then be considered a whistleblower. While this sounds ominous, there are numerous state and federal laws in place to protect those who come forward in these situations. However, since this is an important step that could impact your life in many ways, rely on the expert advice of an employment attorney in Los Angeles from Mann Elias to protect your rights throughout the process.

What are Examples of Anti-Retaliation and Whistleblower Laws?

Should you decide to become a whistleblower and have questions about what to know about whistleblowing and retaliation, always hire an informant retaliation attorney in Los Angeles from Mann & Elias. In general, these laws protect employees who come forward with allegations against employers regarding violations of environmental laws, discrimination laws, health and safety practices, and other related areas.

Are There Differences between Retaliation and Whistleblowing Claims?

Yes. When filing a whistleblower claim against an employer, these focus on illegal actions you believe an employer has taken that will harm the public. In a retaliation claim, the focus is on actions directed at you by your employers, such as a demotion, salary cut, or firing. To better understand these claims, obtain legal representation by hiring one of our trusted attorneys.

What are the Most Common Anti-Retaliation Claims?

These vary greatly, depending on the specific actions you are reporting. In most cases, employees will seek protection from retaliation under such laws as the False Claims Act, Dodd-Frank, the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, and other state and federal laws.

How Can I Prove I Was Retaliated Against?

To prove retaliation has occurred against you, you must show:

  • You engaged in protected activity such as reporting a violation
  • Your employer knew you took such activity
  • An adverse employment action occurred against you
  • The protected activity was the reason for the adverse employment action

Since each of these elements will be crucial to proving your case, have a lawyer by your side to establish a strong legal strategy.

What is Considered Protected Activity?

This varies from situation to situation. For example, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 offers protection for those who serve as witnesses, contact the media, refuse to perform illegal assignments or other related matters. Whether or not your allegations ultimately have merit, you are still afforded protection. Since you likely will not know what protected activity is, don’t take chances in these situations.

What is not Protected activity?

If you argue with and subsequently punch your employer, you will not have protected activity status for your actions upon being fired from your job. In any whistleblower situation, you will need to act as a reasonable person would in that situation. Otherwise, the law will likely not be on your side. Don’t go too far and put yourself in legal peril.

What if My Employer Doesn’t Know of My Protected Activity?

While this could work against you, most courts will assume your employer had some knowledge of what was taking place. To ensure your employer will know of your actions, you can make your intentions clear by coming forward rather than staying anonymous. However, if you do stay anonymous, this will not be held against you by most courts. Should an employer try to take retaliatory actions against you upon finding out you are a whistleblower, never hesitate to refer to us at Mann & Elias.

What are Adverse Employment Actions?

These can run the gamut from demotions, failure to be promoted, and not being allowed to work overtime to being fired from your job. Generally, these actions must, in some way, impact you financially. If you can prove such actions took place against you, a court may rule in your favor and provide a remedy for your damages.

What if I Haven’t Been Fired?

If your employer has not fired you but is making life on the job quite difficult, you may be able to win your case. However, to do so, you will need to have specific evidence of your employer’s actions against you, such as harassment, discrimination, or other actions that create a hostile work environment.

How Do I Prove My Case?

By having direct evidence or inference, you may be able to prove your case and show the protected activity you were engaged in led to your employer retaliating against you on the job. Once you have assembled evidence you feel proves your case, discuss your situation and what steps should be taken next with a legal professional.

Are All Whistleblower or Anti-Retaliation Laws the Same?

No. These can vary from state to state, and there can even be some variation in federal law as well. Also, variances can occur depending on whether you are a union employee or in other work situations.

Are There Time Deadlines to File Claims?

Yes. As with most legal matters, there are statutes of limitations regarding how long you have to file such claims. These can be as little as 72 hours for union grievances to six years in other situations. At Mann & Elias, we can help you navigate the complexities associated with these cases.


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