There are many company violations of the law that go unreported because of the fear of retaliation. Employees depend on their jobs to maintain their livelihoods and in most cases medical and retirement benefits.
What many employees may not know is that most of the same laws that protect them — like wage and hour protections, health and safety laws, and anti-discrimination laws — also have provisions that make it illegal for an employer to retaliate against them for reporting wrongdoing.
Whistleblowing happens when a person tells an authority figure or the public about alleged illegal or dishonest activities (i.e., misconduct) within a company, government department or public/private organization, or an employee exposes dishonest practices or illegal activities occurring within his or her company.
The misconduct can be in the form of a company regulation, a federal or state law, or a public health and safety threat. Whistleblowers may make allegations either internally within the organization allegedly guilty of wrongdoing or externally to the media, law enforcement or regulators.
The Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 prohibits retaliation against federal employees who disclose violations of laws, rules or regulations, gross misconduct, mismanagement or waste of funds, or a specific and substantial danger to public health and safety.
Federal whistleblower protections also protect employees working in the private sector, since disclosures by private sector employees typically pertain to misconduct of government officials as well as private sector employers.
If you recently disclosed information pertaining to misconduct within your current or former company and suspect retaliation is being taken against you, do not hesitate to consult with an experienced Colorado employee law attorney.
Your attorney can explain your rights and advise you of your legal options and the best course of action to take. He or she will explain the legal process as it pertains to your circumstances and let you know what to expect.