When an employer is participating in illegal activities or violating worker rights, employees have the right to “blow the whistle” on the company by alerting the proper authorities. Unfortunately, when some employers become aware that an employee made a complaint, they take retaliatory action against the whistleblower through termination, demotion, or transfer. Both federal and state laws protect whistleblowers from retaliation, so if you were punished for making a complaint against your employer, it is critical to contact an experienced employment attorney who can help protect your rights.
Ohio’s whistleblower laws protect employees of both public and private companies from being retaliated against by their employers for reporting legitimate violations. However, to fall under the law’s protection, an employee must reasonably believe that the employer’s conduct:
Employees are also required to first orally notify their supervisor of the concern and then file a written report including details of the violation. If, after 24 hours, the employer has not made an effort to correct the problem, the employee can file a claim with the appropriate public agency, peace officer, inspector general, or public official. Employees who comply with the requirements of this process are protected from certain adverse actions taken by their employers, including:
Ohio’s civil rights laws also protect employees who have been discriminated against based on race, sex, or another protected category from being fired, harassed, or demoted for reporting it. Other state laws protect employees from being punished for:
Under federal law, employees are entitled to safe workplaces, overtime pay, and freedom from discrimination based on race, gender, and other protected categories. Employees also have the right to report wage and hour violations, workplace discrimination, and safety violations. As a result, employers who fire a whistleblower or take any of the following retaliatory actions can be required to pay damages:
Employees who are the victims of this type of retaliation can file a civil claim against their employers and seek specific remedies, including:
To speak to an experienced employment attorney, please contact Marshall Forman & Schlein LLC by calling (614) 463-9790, sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or completing one of our brief contact forms.
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