Money is a powerful incentive, but it can also be a dangerous one. Businesses that operate solely with a focus on maximizing revenue may engage in unethical and illegal behaviors in pursuit of a solid bottom line. Such issues may start small and then spread or may trickle down from the top of an organization.
Often, illegal activity is not obvious from the outside and only becomes apparent after a professional joins an organization. If someone takes a job or transfers to a new department and then discovers some kind of criminal activity or another serious issue, they may feel as though they cannot speak up about what they know.
It is natural for an employee to assume that the company would retaliate against anyone who draws attention to misconduct. However, both federal and California state whistleblower statutes protect those who realize that their employer has done something wrong.
Companies can’t punish employees who do the right thing
Whistleblower protections apply to a broad number variety of different circumstances. The most well-known would involve a worker reporting employer misconduct to a regulatory agency. They should be able to retain their job and not face any sort of company consequences for drawing attention to illegal activity or regulatory infractions.
Whistleblowing could also involve reporting certain issues internally through the appropriate channels. Despite laws allowing workers to retain their positions and continue to grow their careers, businesses frequently engage in retaliatory behaviors following a report related to some kind of internal misconduct. They may look for an excuse to fire an employee or demote them.
Whistleblower claims often require support
If a business has already shown it has no qualms about mistreating its employee for reporting something significant, a worker fighting back will likely need all the help they can get. A successful whistleblower claim could lead to someone’s reinstatement at an organization or even financial compensation for the conduct of their employer, such as lost wages.
With the right professional support, a worker who has been mistreated for doing the right thing can at least minimize the long-term consequences of their actions in re: their professional ambitions. Learning more about whistleblower protection laws can help those who are concerned about reporting unlawful or unsafe activity at their place of employment.