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Federal Acts That Protect Whistleblowers

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A whistleblower is any person who alleges dishonest of illegal activity or exposes misconduct in an organization. Alleged misconduct could fall into one of several categories including:

  • Violations of the law
  • Egregious regulatory infractions
  • Health and safety violations
  • Securities fraud
  • Other direct threats to public interest.

Here are a few federal acts and statutes that are intended to embolden whistleblowers to speak up when they come across evidence of illegalities in the workplace.

Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989

In 1989, the U.S. federal government passed into law the Whistleblower Protection Act. This law was enacted to protect federal whistleblowers. The act is intended to safeguard against retaliatory actions (or threats of action) towards those who disclose information about illegalities.

False Claims Act

While the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 protects government employees and agents, the False Claims Act helps protect private citizens. When a private citizen has evidence of fraud against the government, the False Claims Act says they may sue a defendant on behalf of the government and share from 15 to 25 percent of the recovered money. 

Sarbanes-Oxley Act

This is one most of you have read about. When white-collar crimes are involved, Sarbanes-Oxley may come into play. This act offers protection for employees who report violations of federal regulations governing securities fraud. 

Occupational Safety and Health Act

OSHA has innumerable applications in regards to education and promotion of the health and safety of a workplace. However it also protects employees who complain to their employers, unions, OSHA, or other agencies about unsafe or unhealthy workplace conditions.

Lloyd-La Follette Act

Prior to the Lloyd-La Follette Act of 1912, there was no stopping the authority of powerful government officials in firing a federal employee for speaking up for alleged illegal activities. This act allows civil service employees to give information to Congress or a member of Congress without interference from superiors.

Legal Counsel For Whistleblower Protection

If you are in the process of exposing wrongdoing in the workplace and you are concerned about being protected in the process, don’t hesitate to enlist the advocacy of an experienced Chicago wrongful termination attorney. Our firm is poised to effectively assert your rights to full whistleblower protection should you need them.

When Employers Are Wrongfully Accused of Whistleblower Retaliation

Employees who have filed discrimination complaints or allege illegalities in the workplace do not have the ultimate say so in the duration of their employment. A whistleblower can still be disciplined or fired if he or she is found to be engaging in clearly defined misconduct. It is important, however, that you discuss these actions with your attorney before setting forth the disciplinary actions. Goldman & Ehrlich is prepared to make sure you are not violating any of the above whistleblower laws, should the employee choose to accuse you of such.

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.