A whistleblower is someone who reports a person or organization’s illegal action to an internal or external source. Ideally, an employee should be able to report illegal or immoral activities without facing retaliatory consequences. In fact, government and corporate entities often rely on whistleblowers to provide information that exposes hidden corruption and unethical practices.
Examples of whistleblower claims include:
- Tax fraud
- Falsification of financial documents
- Business fraud
- Healthcare fraud
- Safety and health violations
Unfortunately, good intentions aren’t universally appreciated. It’s important for whistleblowers to recognize retaliatory behaviors and seek protection under the law. In Oklahoma, whistleblowers are protected from discriminatory and retaliatory conduct under two state statutes, Equal Employment Opportunity laws (EEO), and the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA). If anyone violates these laws, they could face criminal penalties.
Retaliatory behaviors may include:
- Unfairly reprimanding or criticizing the whistleblower
- Physical, mentally, or emotionally abusing the whistleblower
- Transferring the whistleblower to a different position
- Spreading false information or rumors about the whistleblower
- Purposefully turning coworkers against the whistleblower
- Demoting the whistleblower
- Threatening the whistleblower
- Denying or withholding benefits or wages
- Negatively increasing or altering the whistleblower’s job activities
- Arbitrarily terminating the whistleblower
It must be noted that whistleblowers are not protected from legitimate discipline or termination so long as it’s for non-discriminatory and non-retaliatory reasons.
Seek Legal Protection
It takes great courage to fight against fraud and corruption. Luckily, you don’t have to navigate this complicated legal process alone. Contact Mazaheri Law Firm if you have any questions about the laws protecting whistleblowers. Our Oklahoma City whistleblower attorney can represent your interests and help you file a suit against your fraudulent employer. Our firm can also protect your rights if you feel threatened by your employer’s retaliatory conduct.
Hold your employer accountable for their actions. Contact Mazaheri Law Firmat (405) 414-2222 to schedule a consultation.