Whistleblower Protections In Employment

The term "whistleblower" is used in many ways, both correct and incorrect. Various federal and state laws provide an assortment of protections for employees who act as "whistleblowers." These protections vary by state and generally are applied narrowly. They can provide powerful protection under certain circumstances, though.

Employees of government agencies and political subdivisions (e.g.,counties, water districts, cities, etc.) generally receive whistleblower protections for reporting mismanagement or violations of law or regulations to proper authorities. Thus, a city clerk who advises the city council that an official is accepting bribes would be protected. Similarly, employees of a nuclear facility who report safety violations are protected against retaliation for their reports.

Employees of private businesses generally receive less whistleblower protection than government employees. Non-government employees, however, usually are still protected against adverse action resulting from a refusal to engage in illegal activity or for insisting on carrying out a legal right. For example, an employee who refuses to falsify legally-required financial reports would be protected, as would an employee who insisted on complying with a summons for jury duty despite his employer's order not to do so.

If you believe you have been mistreated because of whistleblower activity, call Sullenger Law Office at (270) 443-9401 to schedule a consultation so we can evaluate your case and discuss what we can do to help you.

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