Anyone who was fired for blowing the whistle at work.
What Rights Do I Have When I Blow the Whistle?
In general, it’s illegal for a company to terminate you for stopping, opposing, reporting or testifying about illegal or unhealthy situations in the workplace. Examples of whistleblowing activity that may be protected include:
Filing a complaint or grievance with your boss, human resources, the government or other outlet
Refusing to carry out illegal work assignments (e.g., improperly disposing of chemicals)
Contacting the media about possible workplace violations
Testifying as a witness in a case involving your employer
Your boss yelled at you for bringing up complaints or reporting problems
Your employer warned you about reporting violations
Your employer put in writing that you were fired for “calling the EPA,” “talking about wage policies with other employees” or engaging in another protected activity
You were fired shortly after you spoke up about a problem at work
Your boss didn’t follow standard procedure when firing you (e.g., first giving you a “warning” or “write-up” for poor performance)
Your employer kept changing his or her reason as to why you were fired
Other employees were also fired after speaking up
Your employer planted false evidence to make it seem like you were terminated for another reason
You had a history of excellent performance reviews before reporting or stopping the illegal activity
Have These Cases Been Successful?
Yes. Here are some examples of cases filed by whistleblowers who claimed they were terminated for speaking up:
$650,000 in a lawsuit alleging that a temp agency fired two whistleblowers for participating in an investigation with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and opposing race, age, national origin and gender discrimination at work
$317,000 for a hotel district manager who was terminated after complaining about race discrimination on the job
$165,000 for a receptionist at a hair salon who warned other employees about the hazards of formaldehyde in the products used on customers
$100,000 for a woman who testified in another employee’s discrimination case and was fired shortly thereafter
$33,000 for a whistleblower at a trucking company who was fired after reporting a complaint to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) about inadequate fall protection on the job