The phrase “If you see something, say something” hits many workers close to home. We would all hope that our fellow workers would report on activity that they deem a threat to our well-being, yet many employees who witness questionable activity are afraid to come forward. Whether you become aware of fraudulent business practices, health and safety violations, or other illegal or unethical practices, it is natural for you feel inclined to voice your concerns in order to ensure a safe and positive work environment.
If you have reported suspicious or fraudulent activity to upper management or are considering voicing your concerns regarding illegal activity, you may be considered a “whistleblower.” A whistleblower is one who exposes illegal or unethical activity within a public or private institution. Whistleblowers commonly face backlash from their employers and may even face social stigma and termination. It is important for you to understand that there are federal and state laws in place designed to protect your good intentions.
Possible Consequences of Whistleblowing
Most employees do not start a new job expecting that they will become a whistleblower; however, whistleblowers play an important role in bringing to light practices that may endanger or defraud their fellow workers and possibly Americans at large. Reporting illicit activity internally can sometimes give rise to retaliatory actions from employers rather than changes in the behavior that prompted you to come forward. Employees who are deemed whistleblowers may experience harsh discipline, demotion, or even job loss. Issues may arise in areas in which you have never had any previous problems and you may be placed on improvement plans, have your work hours reduced, or have your contract or position completely terminated.
Fortunately, laws are in place to protect employees like you who have reported abuse, fraud, or misconduct in the workplace. In certain situations, you may even be eligible for an award disclosing wrongdoing. It is vital to speak with a Virginia Beach whistleblower attorney to discuss your case.
Virginia Beach Whistleblower Protections
Federal and state protections exist for private and public employees who shed light on harmful business practices. The Virginia Fraud and Abuse and Whistleblower Protection Act protects employees from discrimination and retaliatory acts. If you have revealed unsafe, fraudulent, or deceitful practices within your company, you should not face retaliation. If you have yet to reveal such practices, you should seek guidance before doing so. In either case, an attorney who fights for the rights of whistleblowers in Virginia Beach can help you achieve the best outcome. Contact Bertini Law at (757) 222-9165 to explore your legal options.