Retaliation Against Whistleblowers
When it comes to maintaining fair practices and business ethics, the whistleblower is an important person in the workplace. A whistleblower is a person who either internally or externally exposes misconduct or other alleged dishonest or illegal activity in a business.
Managers, executives, or fellow employees of that business may consider the whistleblower a “snitch” or “disloyal,” while others may consider the person a hero. In fact, the term “whistleblower” was coined by Ralph Nader in the 1970s to replace these and other more negative terms, such as “informant.”
Because a whistleblower can play a key role in finding injustice or illegal activities in a business, Connecticut law and certain federal laws protect the whistleblower from both retaliation and termination directly related to his or her decision to be an informant.
Cases of retaliation in whistleblower cases are not always clear-cut, so if you have reported information as a whistleblower and feel you are being retaliated against, you may have a case. The state and federal laws regarding such issues are complex, so when pursuing action for retaliation in a whistleblower case, the services of an experienced Hartford employment lawyer are highly recommended.
Connecticut Whistleblower Retaliation Attorney
When an honest employee stands up for what’s right as a whistleblower in Connecticut, it is illegal for his or her employer to retaliate in any way. If you have acted as a whistleblower and feel you have been retaliated against in Hartford, Milford, Manchester, Bristol, New Haven, Bridgeport, or elsewhere in Connecticut, contact the experienced employment lawyers of Hayber, McKenna & Dinsmore.
With over two decades of combined legal experience, our skilled and qualified employment attorneys know what it takes to get you the civil justice you need, whether the best path is a single claim or a class action settlement. To submit your Connecticut whistleblower retaliation case for review by Hayber, McKenna & Dinsmore, fill out and submit our confidential online contact form.
Connecticut Whistleblower Reporting and Protection
Whistleblowers in the state of Connecticut are defined and protected by Connecticut General Statutes Sec. 31-51m. This law states when an employee reports, either verbally or in writing, a violation or suspected violation of any state law, federal law, municipal ordinance, or any regulations thereof, the employer shall not discharge, discipline, or otherwise penalize that employee.
There are two types of whistleblowers: internal and external. An internal whistleblower reports misconduct of a fellow employee or superior within the company, and an external whistleblower is someone who reports misconduct to a lawyer, the media, law enforcement, or another external agency.
No matter what situation you find yourself in as a whistleblower, section 31-51m(c) of the Connecticut General Statutes gives you a right to civil action if you have been retaliated against for being a whistleblower. Under this law, you may bring civil action against your employer after exhausting all available administrative remedies within 90 days of the last administrative determination or of the violation.
If your report turns out to be false, you can still bring action so long as the report was made in good faith. When a person knowingly submits a false report as a whistleblower, he or she is subject to disciplinary action by his or her employer up to and including termination. Some of the more common violations that whistleblowers report include the following:
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) violations
- Violations of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 regulating publicly-traded companies
- Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act violations
- Civil Rights Act of 1964 violations
- Americans with Disabilities Act violations
- Equal Pay Act violations
- Family and Medical Leave Act violations
- Business ethics violations
Retaliation is not limited to just firing. There are other actions your employer can take against you without letting you go, and it may not be directly obvious at first. A Hartford employment lawyer can help you locate retaliation in your Connecticut whistleblower case if it exists, as well as fight for the civil justice you seek when applicable.
Employer Retaliation and Connecticut Whistleblowers
So long as your report as a whistleblower was made in good faith and not knowingly fraudulent, you are protected by Connecticut and federal whistleblower laws and retaliation against you by your employer or anyone in the company is illegal. Your employer is likely aware of this, so they will try to disguise their actions.
If you have acted as a whistleblower and reported a perceived violation of the law, complained about workplace discrimination, or brought any other violation to the attention of an authority internally or externally, you should be extremely aware of any change in your job situation. If the following changes occur after you have participated in reporting as a whistleblower, you may have been retaliated against:
- Reduction in hours
- Reduction in pay
- Unusual and unreasonable change in workload
- Unwanted transfer
- Unreasonable disqualification from promotion
This is not an extensive list, as the Connecticut General Statutes provide that any disciplinary act or other penalty by an employer against an employee for whistle-blowing is illegal. Having a qualified Connecticut employer retaliation attorney review your case is a critical step in determining whether your employer’s suspicious actions against you constitute retaliation, and whether or not you have a case to recover the related damages.
Hayber, McKenna & Dinsmore | Employment Lawyer for Hartford Whistleblower Retaliation
If you have suffered what you believe are consequences to your bravery as an internal or external whistleblower in Hartford, Manchester, Glastonbury, New Britain, Bristol, Waterbury, New Haven, Bridgeport, New London, Stamford, Meriden, Middletown, or elsewhere in Connecticut, the experienced employment attorneys at Hayber, McKenna & Dinsmore may be able to help you make a Connecticut whistleblower retaliation claim. Fill out our confidential online contact form today and we will review your case to determine if our employee rights lawyers can help you with your retaliation case.