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:
Falsification of financial documents
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 Firm at (405) 645-6022 to schedule a consultation.