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Whistleblower Claims and Retaliation

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Whistleblower Claims and Retaliation in Chicago

Chicago wrongful termination lawyers serve employees and businesses

Rights are meaningless when intimidation prevents citizens from exercising them. Therefore, lawmakers have decided to protect employees who assert their rights in the workplace from any backlash from their employers. If you have engaged in a protected activity and are facing discipline up to and including termination of your employment, Goldman & Ehrlich is ready to help. For more than 25 years, our Chicago employment attorneys have fought to protect employees who freely exercise their rights. We have also defended businesses against unjust charges of retaliation. Our dual perspective on employment issues is a distinct advantage we offer our clients in Illinois and southwestern Michigan. Let us get started right away on your case, call 312.332.6733 or fill out our contact form.

Retaliation claims forcefully asserted

Federal law allows workers to present discrimination claims without fear of reprisals. According to the EEOC, “Retaliation occurs when an employer, employment agency, or labor organization takes an adverse action against a covered individual because he or she engaged in a protected activity.” Protected activity includes:

  • complaining about alleged discrimination
  • filing or threatening to file a discrimination charge
  • opposing discriminatory practices
  • refusing to obey an order you believe to be discriminatory
  • cooperating with an investigation of discriminatory practices
  • serving as a witness in an EEOC investigation or litigation

If you then find yourself receiving unjustifiably negative performance reviews or questionable disciplinary action, you may be the target of retaliation from your employer. Retaliation can also include termination, denial of promotion, threats, unjustified negative references and increased surveillance.

Federal whistleblower protection

The federal government has decided it is good public policy to encourage “whistleblowers” to come forward with evidence of illegal activity in their place of employment. Many federal statutes provide protection, including:

  • Sarbanes-Oxley Act — protection for employees who report violations of federal regulations governing securities fraud
  • False Claims Act — private citizens with evidence of fraud against the government may sue a defendant on behalf of the government and share from 15 to 25 percent of the recovered money
  • Occupational Safety and Health Act — protects employees who complain to their employers, unions, OSHA, or other agencies about unsafe or unhealthy workplace conditions
  • Federal Whistleblower Protection Act — protects federal whistleblowers, including government employees, who report government agency misconduct or fraud
  • Lloyd-La Follette Act — allows civil service employees to give information to Congress or a member of Congress without interference from superiors

Our Chicago wrongful termination lawyers can effectively assert your rights to whistleblower protection.

Defense of businesses charged with retaliation

Just because an employee has engaged in protected activity does not mean he or she cannot be disciplined or fired for engaging in misconduct. Before disciplining an employee who engaged in protected activity, it is wise to first consult with Goldman & Ehrlich to make sure you are not violating any laws against retaliation. Goldman & Ehrlich can defend companies accused of retaliatory behavior.

Contact our Chicago whistleblower and retaliation law attorneys

If you have engaged in protected activity and feel targeted for undeserved and illegal discipline in the workplace, or you represent a business charged with retaliation toward an employee, call Goldman & Ehrlich at 312.332.6733 or contact our Chicago office online.