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Fired for Whistleblowing? Here is what to Do
If you have reported any violations of environmental laws and have been fired what are you supposed to do next? If you are what is known as a “Whistleblower” and you have lost your job because of it you should know there are federal and state laws that protect a worker from reporting any violations. These violations can range from securities violations, sexual harassment, or illegal pollution in the air or waters. These laws are designed to protect someone who, when doing the right thing is fired from their job because of it.
There are federal laws to protect whistleblowers such as the The Pollution Prevention Act, the Toxic Substance Control Act, and the federal Clean Air Act to name a few. It is illegal for any company who has a whistleblower come forward, to fire that employee in retaliation.
The majority of states have laws against firing employees for the reporting of misconduct or other violations. The laws are different in some states concerning if private or public employees are protected and if entire businesses and co-workers are protected.
If you have reported your employer and have been discharged what should you do?
There are ranges of agencies that will offer different actions to protect a whistleblower associated with their kinds of pursuits. If you are fired for reporting a violation of OSHA laws, you can file a complaint with an OSHA agency. You may also have reason to file a lawsuit against your employer for violating the laws as well.
If you are a whistleblower who has been fired, seeking advice from a lawyer who specializes in employment law is the first step to take. A good employment attorney can recoup back pay, lost wages and any legal fees associated. Many times the legal proceeding is pursued by the government: this will cost you nothing and the benefits of the resources afforded by the government can help with your claims.