What Protections Do WhistleBlowers Have in Indiana?
My Employer Is Retaliating Against Me for Whistleblowing
History has shown that it is often times a whistleblower (a worker who informs on a person or organization engaged in an illicit activity) who discloses the wrongdoing of their coworkers or employer when it comes to safety, unethical, corruption, waste, and fraud issues. Some whistleblowers may be at risk of their employer or coworkers retaliating against them. If you have something to say against the actions of your employer or coworker/s know what risks may be involved and how the protections available to you can help.
Exposing Wrongdoing the Correct Way
If you decide to expose a coworker or employer of wrongdoing, do so in a safe and productive way that supports your claim. Keep these suggestions from the workplace attorneys at Wagner Reese top of mind.
- Gather all evidence discretely and legally. Be honest.
- If you have made complaints and filed any reports to supervisors, keep detailed notes and documentation, including dates and names of all involved. Make note of anyone that may be able to serve as a witness or an additional whistleblower.
- If you have experienced any retaliation, make note of any differences between company policy and the way you are treated.
- When you are ready and prepared to report, decide whether you want to remain anonymous and whether that’s even a reasonable option given the information you have. Be sure you have followed all the steps in reporting a violation and to the correct authority.
- There may be time limits for filing retaliation claims, it is best to speak with an attorney at the first moment you notice any unlawful actions.
Although it has been harshly criticized over the years, Indiana workers are protected by state statutes to help them safely report fraud or illegal conduct in the workplace and they apply to both public and private employees. Under the State Employees Bills of Rights and False Claims Whistleblower Protection statute codes 4-15-10-4 & 36-1-8-8 (public); 22-5-3-3 (private):
“Employers can not dismiss, withhold salary increases or employment-related benefits, transfer or reassign, deny promotion or demote if employee reports violation of federal law or regulation, state law or rule, violates ordinance of a political subdivision or misuse of public funds and employees can take action by reporting to a supervisor or appointing authority or state ethics commission if supervisor or appointing authority involved with violation. If no good faith effort made by reportee, submit a written report to any concerned person, agency, or organization or seek a legal remedy.”
In addition to the state’s whistleblower protections, there are several federal laws set in place to protect Hoosier workers who have been retaliated against for reporting. Those include:
- Clean Air Act
- Toxic Substance Control Act
- The Pollution Prevention Act
- And several other OSHA Protections
Private sector employees will likely file claims with the Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (IOSHA) Whistleblower Protection Unit, while many federal employees can file a complaint with the Office of Special Counsel. A worker’s rights attorney at Wagner Reese can advise you on the specific law’s procedures as well as any deadlines to file.
Call Us If You Have Been Retaliated Against
If you feel you have been retaliated against because of workplace violation report, the attorneys at Wagner Reese can help you. Call today at (888) 204-8440 for your FREE consultation or submit the online form, and our attorneys will respond promptly.