Whistleblower Law And Common Questions
Whistleblowers are essential to doing justice and detecting fraudulent behaviors that may severely damage the government and negatively impact the economy. To encourage individuals to report unlawful activity by their employers, there are laws that provide protection and benefits to whistleblowers. We invite you to read our questions and answers below to learn more.
What is the whistleblower law?
It refers to the laws enacted to protect whistleblowers, a term used to refer to individuals who report illegal and unethical actions of employers, law violations or a workplace with unsafe conditions. The laws aim to protect whistleblowers from any type of threat or retaliation by the employer and to encourage individuals to report any suspicious action or wrongdoings.
How do the whistleblower laws protect the whistleblower?
Laws prevent any form of retaliation or discrimination in the workplace against whistleblowers. To qualify for protection under the whistleblowers’ act, an individual must believe in good faith that an employer is violating the law or is carrying out unlawful actions.
What are some kinds of whistleblower scenarios?
Individuals may report actions observed involving discrimination, noncompliance with wage and hour laws, theft laws or regulations regarding health, safety at work or failure to comply with workers’ compensation laws. An employee may also report violations of environmental laws.
Are whistleblower laws federal or state?
Whistleblower laws are in place at the federal and state level. Examples of federal protection for whistleblowers are the Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) or those related to health and safety hazards like the Solid Waste Disposal Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act. In addition, scopes of protection may differ according to each state’s law. For example, the Whistleblower’s Protection Act in Michigan protects private and public workers, while Illinois law only protects local and state employees.
What should you do if you observe illegal behavior in your job?
You are encouraged to report any illegal behavior observed. However, it is also crucial to have the advice of an experienced attorney to learn how you can protect yourself should you decide to report the wrongdoing.