SEC Gives $600,000 to Whistleblower in Retaliation Case
Wrongful termination is against the law. An employer may not fire, demote, or harass an individual for standing up in the workplace for what’s right. In this case, the employee reported the employer’s unlawful conduct to the SEC and told his boss about the report. He was demoted and harassed for making the report. This conduct fits the textbook definition of “retaliation”.
We have handled retaliation cases where employees exercised their rights to take medical leave, request a reasonable accommodation or complained about discrimination and harassment. Other cases involved employees refusing to violate laws regarding the safety, environment, corporate fraud, government contracts, Medicare billing, hospitals, nursing homes, pharmaceutical companies, military contracts. Some employees suffered retaliation because they engaged in political activity including election-related work on a candidate’s behalf, or filed a wage and hour claim.
It’s important to know retaliation can occur even after you have been terminated. Sometimes an employer will refuse to provide a job reference, interfere with the employee’s application for a new job and gives false negative information during reference check. Other times an employer will interfere with an application for unemployment benefits when there is no grounds for doing so.
There are limits to this type of protection. Retaliation laws do not protect you for arguing about what is legal or not and you physically fight with or punch someone.
Contact Shelley Bryant at Bryant Whitten – Attorneys for Employees if you have questions about retaliation or wrongful termination.