Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What Should I do if I’m Facing Whistleblower Retaliation?
If you are a whistleblower facing retaliation, immediately obtain legal counsel from a whistleblower attorney. The reason is simple. What you blow the whistle on and the method you use to make your disclosure will determine your rights going forward. It is to your advantage to make your disclosure according to the laws that will provide you with the maximum protection.
See the following rules:
- Rule 2: Navigate the Maze
- Rule 3: Follow the Money
- Rule 4: Find the Best Federal Law
- Rule 5: Don’t Forget State Laws
- International Toolkit
Most federal laws permit you to file whistleblower cases before your company fires you. Supreme Court precedent has broadly defined adverse action, to include things like demotion, transfer, or change in job duties. See: Rule 24: Get to the Jury.
The moment you believe retaliation is occurring, contact a whistleblower attorney to see if you can file a claim. You should not wait until you the company fires you.
How should you make sure your disclosures are protected under the law?
Often managers or companies can lash out aggressively if they feel threatened by a whistleblower. You have to be emotionally and financially prepared for the lid to blow. See: Rule 21: Be Prepared for the Lid to Blow. It is essential to obtain legal counsel. Putting your job and reputation in jeopardy can be a significant life-changing event. Preparation is crucial.
Follow the statutes of limitations for each law. All whistleblower laws have a statute of limitation, which sets forth deadlines for filing complaints. Some deadlines are short as 30 days; others are three years or more. Once you determine which law to use, learn the statute of limitation.
How do you find the best federal/state law?
There is no federal whistleblower protection act. There are over 50 laws permitting job protection or permitting you to obtain financial rewards governing almost every type of whistleblowing. There are also significant and strong state laws; for these, there are wide discrepancies.
The New Whistleblower’s Handbook has the following rules that provide an overview of steps to take in retaliation cases: