If you observe a violation of state or federal law at your workplace or you find out that your employer is grossly mismanaging funds, you may feel compelled to report it to authorities. Your actions as a whistleblower may help put a stop to illegal actions on the part of your employer. Unfortunately, some workplaces retaliate against employees who act as whistleblowers.
You should not suffer penalties at your job because you held your workplace accountable for unjust actions. In the event your employer attempts to punish you, you may have grounds for legal action.
Examples of workplace retaliation
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission describes a number of actions that may qualify as retaliation against a whistleblower. A supervisor may give you an unfavorable work evaluation even though you have done your job well according to your employer’s usual standards. You may receive a disciplinary action despite the fact that you have done nothing to deserve it.
In addition, your employer may deny you a pay raise that you have earned from your work performance, or you may receive a reassignment that gives you less favorable working conditions. Your work duties may become burdensome and you may lose out on workplace privileges.
Gather evidence of retaliation if possible
Sometimes retaliation can be subtle. You may not even recognize it at first. A transfer to another set of duties or a denial of a promotion might not seem all that severe. Still, it may benefit you to get a copy of your recent evaluation and/or personnel file to see if your superiors have fairly judged your work.
Also keep a copy of your employee handbook available if your workplace produces one for its employees. This will help you know if you have met workplace standards and did nothing to warrant a recent disciplinary action.