For workers in New Orleans, there is a common concern that informing on employers when there are violations occurring will spark retaliation. Many are unaware that a part of their employee rights includes protection from retaliation for being a whistleblower. Although there are laws in place to protect workers from this form of treatment, there are certain instances in which that still doesn't stop employer retaliation. Fear of retribution should not stop an employee from revealing violations.
The continued problems experienced by the Veterans Administration have also involved staffers who reported such activities as heavy backlogs and the deletion of records. According to claims from a whistleblower, he and others who reported the problems were harassed and retaliated against. Testimony is planned with this individual and others in front of House Veterans Affairs Committee. When complaints regarding federal funds being mismanaged were revealed to superiors, the employee alleges that he was put on administrative leave and alterations were made to his records. The issues experienced by workers who reported these concerns highlights the need for whistleblower protection.
Because employers can dismiss an employee for any reason, there is a distinct advantage for them if there is an employee rights violation claim. It can help workers who maintain a record of their history and performance as workers when they seek protection for retaliation. Fear of losing one's job shouldn't preclude reporting illegal activity, questionable spending or any other form of mistreatment. Someone who has been victimized for being a whistleblower might be able to recover compensation for lost wages and damages.
In this instance, staffers who informed on the VA claim they were retaliated against in various ways. Their entire professional lives can be influenced negatively by their treatment. When reporting missteps, it is important that employees take steps to protect themselves. The same holds true for anyone who believes they have information about illegality of any kind. When there is a belief that retaliation for being a whistleblower is happening, it is key for people to understand their legal rights.
Source: NBC News, "VA Whistleblowers Say They Faced Retaliation for Reporting Problems," Rich Gardella, July 8, 2014