Fired for Being a Whistleblower
Our society values the whistleblower — the person willing to stand against the powerful and risk his or her career by calling attention to his or her employer’s wrongdoing. Employers, however, take a much dimmer view, and often seek to rid their company of those they see as “disloyal.” However, Connecticut law protects whistleblowers.
Connecticut Whistleblower Protections
If you’ve been terminated or suffered any other negative employment action because you reported a violation of the law, state law in Connecticut protects you. The Hartford wrongful termination lawyers at Hayber, McKenna & Dinsmore will fight for you. We are experienced employment lawyers proud to stand up for those who stood up to their employer. Fill out our online form today so that we can review the details of your case.
We are based in Hartford and represent clients throughout Connecticut, including Milford, New Haven, Stamford and Bridgeport.
Connecticut Whistleblower Termination Information Center
- Whistleblower Protections in Connecticut
- Common Laws That Connecticut Whistle-Blowers Report
- Excuses for Your Termination after Reporting a Violation
Whistleblower Protections in Connecticut
Connecticut General Statutes Sec. 31-51m contains protection against retaliation for whistleblowers. The law says that an employer may not discharge, discipline or otherwise penalize an employee because he or she reports a violation or suspected violation of the law, be that law or regulation federal, state, municipal or by any public body. The laws could pertain to discrimination, public safety, criminal acts or anything else.
For instance, Joan works at an insurance company in Danbury, where she leads a division. A person applies to work in her division, and Joan recommends her to the human resources. The recommended person is qualified, but has a degenerative medical condition. The human resources director informs her that the president of the company has determined they are unwilling to take on someone who may not be able to work fulltime. Joan is aware this is a violation of antidiscrimination laws, and reports it to the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities. She is promptly fired after her boss learns of her report to the CHRO. Joan has a cause of action against her former employer for illegal retaliation under Connecticut’s whistle blower statute.
This law protects employees who blow the whistle in good faith, even if it turns out that there was no actual violation by the employer. Mark works as a manager of a hotel in a major hotel chain in New London. Certain activities lead him to believe that a guest is engaging in prostitution, so he calls the police to report his suspicions. The police investigate and find no illegal activity, but the guest, a loyal customer, is angry and embarrassed. Management fires Mark. Mark has a cause of action against his former employee for retaliation.
Common Laws That Connecticut Whistle-Blowers Report
Connecticut employees are protected against being terminated for reporting a violation of any law, including criminal code violations. However, there are some laws that occur in these types of cases more often. They include:
- Regulations of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which ensure safe workplaces;
- Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, which regulates publicly traded companies;
- Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act, a state law that prohibits employment discrimination;
- Civil Rights Act of 1964, a federal law that prohibits employment discrimination;
- Americans With Disabilities Act, which prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities and requires reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities;
- Age Discrimination in Employment Act, which prohibits employment discrimination based on age;
- Equal Pay Act, which prohibits discrimination in pay on the basis of sex;
- Family and Medical Leave Act, which requires certain employers to allow qualified employees to take leave for family and medical reasons;
- Fair Labor Standards Act, a federal law that sets standards for how employees are paid; and
- Connecticut Minimum Wage Act, a state law that requires Connecticut workers to be paid at least a certain amount.
Excuses for Your Termination after Reporting a Violation
After an employee reports a violation, the employer may not say that the employee is being fired for being a whistleblower. Instead, they may make up a reason, or exaggerate an issue to claim that is why the employee was let go.
In a Hartford wrongful termination case, the burden is on the employee and his or her Hartford wrongful termination lawyer to prove that, more likely than not, he or she was fired for reporting a violation. However, firing a person shortly after that person engaged in whistleblowing tends to appear extremely suspicious. Many times, the timing of these terminations combined with evidence that the stated reason is false, can carry the day.
Hayber, McKenna & Dinsmore | Hartford Wrongful Termination Protections for Whistleblowers
If you reported your company was in violation of the law and was subsequently fired or suffered some other form of retaliation, you may have a cause of action against your current or former employer. The Hartford wrongful termination lawyers at Hayber, McKenna & Dinsmore can fight for you. Contact us today by filling out our online form so we can read about your case.