Your employer cannot fire, demote, or subject you to abuse or unfair treatment when you report problems at work.
Employees often fail to report problems because they fear retaliation. Such worries come from the long history of managers, supervisors, and co-workers mistreating employees who speak out about issues related to pay, hiring and promotion practices, and safety. The Columbus whistleblower lawyers at Coffman Legal, LLC know all types of whistleblower laws.
Federal and state laws prohibit retaliation against employees who exercise their rights to call attention to violations of law and policy. Still, too many employers do not let those laws stop them from punishing individuals who only want to make their working lives and workplaces fair and safe.
Approaching a Columbus whistleblower attorney to get advice and secure representation before going to the company’s management can provide important protections.
When do whistleblower protections for employees take effect?
Employees’ rights laws and workplace safety rules include provisions that grant whistleblower protections to any worker who reports violations of the laws and rules. This means that a worker has protections when he or she asks for investigations into and resolutions of problems related to:
- Wage theft
- Minimum wage violations
- Unpaid overtime
- Discrimination based on age, race, sex, or religion
- Unsafe working conditions
- Injuries on the job
- Occupational illnesses
- Interference with Family and Medical Leave Act leave
- Accommodations of disabilities
- Wrongful terminations
It is also important for workers and employers to understand that anyone can report problems. For instance, a white male employee who reports a manager for harassing female co-workers of color would have whistleblower protections. Similarly, a manager who notices that her organization’s hiring practice consistently shut out job applicants over a certain age even though positions can be filled by older individuals without jeopardizing productivity has the right to report the apparent discrimination.
Finally, whistleblower protections extend to individuals who cooperate with investigations into reports of violations of employment laws and regulations. This ensures that each purported problem receives a thorough and unbiased assessment.
How do employers retaliate against whistleblowers?
Sadly, retaliation in the workplace takes many forms. Employees can fire a worker considered to be a troublemaker, but they may also deny promotions, refuse to grant raises, withhold or rescind benefits, or make reassignments to dangerous and dirty work. In the worst cases, whistleblowers face verbal and physical abuse.
If mistreatment becomes so severe that the whistleblower quits his or her job, the individual can have a case for what employment lawyers call constructive discharge.
How could a Columbus whistleblower attorney help you?
A whistleblower attorney in Columbus, Ohio will work with a client to collect and organize evidence, prepare reports, communicate with managers and supervisors, and, when necessary, file a civil lawsuit or enter into arbitration. Whistleblowers who experience retaliation have rights to seek monetary damages that include punitive damages, which are noncriminal fines assessed to penalize the employer’s unfair and abusive behavior.
You can schedule a free and confidential consultation with a whistleblower lawyer in Columbus, Ohio by calling Coffman Legal at 1-614-949-1181. We also welcome you to reach out to us online and share some of the details of your potential case by completing this contact form.˙
If you find yourself in need of an attorney as I did, contact Coffman Legal.
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