If an employee discovers an employer is doing something illegal or unethical and reports it, the employee whistleblower is protected by law from retaliation by the employer and co-workers. This protection holds even if the employer’s behavior is eventually found to be legal and ethical.
In cases where the whistleblower is reporting fraud against the federal government, federal laws protect the individual and can provide the whistleblower with substantial rewards.
If you’re a whistleblower concerned about retaliation, please contact us for a confidential consultation.
First Amendment/Free Speech
Connecticut law protects employees from retaliation by an employer for exercising their right to free speech under the United States Constitution and the Connecticut State Constitution. However, not all speech is protected. Speech that involves a matter of public concern is generally protected. If you have experienced retaliation from your employer for raising concerns regarding health and safety, serious wrongdoing, or other matters of public concern, we can assist. In Connecticut, if you exercise your first amend speech rights, you are protected.
SOX (the Sarbanes-Oxley Act) protects whistleblowers who provide information, cause it to be provided, or otherwise assist an investigation of conduct they believe violates:
- federal criminal prohibitions against securities fraud, bank fraud, mail fraud, or wire fraud;
- any rule or regulation of the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission); or
- any federal law relating to fraud against shareholders.
SOX even protects internal disclosures, such as when an employee raises a concern to a boss about misleading financial information in an SEC filing. In addition, SOX prohibits retaliation for whistleblower actions.
The Department of Labor’s OSHA Whistleblower Protection Program protects employees from retaliation for reporting employer violations of various OSHA laws. Employees are entitled to a safe work environment and employers are required to follow OSHA standards and other safety rules.
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