Although we would like to think that all businesses and companies always follow the framework of the law, this is not always the case. Regardless of the motives, whether it is to take out a competitor, evade taxes or simply just to gain a higher profit margin, there are times when laws are broken.
Some of these violations or broken laws are minor and are met with small fines or penalties, but others can drastically change the scope and operations of a company. As an employee, if you see illegal activity within your company, whistleblower protections allow you to report the violations to authorities without the threat of being fired or retaliation from the company at fault.
Protections are vast, depending on the violation, and may be covered by any of the following: The Clean Air Act, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, the Compensation and Liability Act, the Energy Reorganization Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Solid Waste Disposal Act, the Toxic Substance Control Act and the Water Pollution Act. In addition, employees are also protected by general statutes or common laws barring retaliation or discrimination in most states, including New York.
Protecting an employee's rights is crucial when a report is made against an employer. Whistleblowers should be able to rest easy and proceed with confidence when reporting illegal or harmful activity, knowing that the laws are on their side. If you feel your employee rights have been violated and an employer is retaliating, it may be wise to get more information about the applicable employment law options.
Source: By findlaw, "Whistleblower Protections," Accessed on Oct. 25, 2015