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Were you retaliated against at work?

Coming forward when you see your company doing something wrong is a courageous act; one that deserves to be lauded. Unfortunately, your company and even your coworkers may not see it that way at the time. In some cases, they may try to retaliate against whistleblowers as a form of punishment or a warning for anyone else who has the bravery to point out wrongdoing.

We say it a lot on this blog, but it's a vital point to remember when you're going through something like this: you did nothing wrong. In fact, what you've done is something heroic; something that could save lives from being ruined by an irresponsible company.

Retaliation can take a number of forms. The company may try to punish the whistleblower by firing them, demoting them or deny them a deserved promotion. They could also try to reduce their pay, suspend them or try to take away benefits.

So how do you know you have a case of retaliation? OSHA looks at the following checklist when conducting an investigation:

  • Were the employee's whistleblowing actions a protected activity?
  • Was the employer aware of the protected activity?
  • Did the employer react to the event in some way?
  • Was the reaction a result of the employee's protected whistleblowing?

If you feel you've been retaliated against because you reported illegal activities, remember that you have rights. An attorney experienced in whistleblower claims may be able to help ensure that your rights are protected and that you are compensated if you were wronged.

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