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.
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.
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:
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.
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.