Iowa workers who become aware of illegal behavior at their place of work might be intimidated or outright afraid to speak out against it. This can be in any kind of job in the public or private sector. While it could be a difficult decision to become a whistleblower, there are times when the person does not have an ethical, moral or personal choice but to do so. Understanding the Whistleblower Protection Act and how it shields whistleblowers is essential to taking the next steps. Since the law can be complicated, it is wise to have legal assistance before moving forward.
Most workplaces and employees will not be forced to deal with situations in which there is overt illegality that must be reported to law enforcement. However, it does happen. There are state and federal laws that protect employees and these must be adhered to. If they are not, a worker or other witness can report it and be granted whistleblower status. After reporting on the wrongdoing, it is not unusual for the whistleblower to be subjected to discriminatory behaviors, face harassment, be wrongfully terminated, be retaliated against and deal with numerous other methods of harassment to dissuade them from speaking out and to punish them. Intimidation should not be tolerated and these individuals need legal advice.
There are multiple legal protections that shield whistleblowers. They include the No FEAR Act, OSHA’s Whistleblower Protection Program, and the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989. Each protects certain categories of workers who are serving as whistleblowers. No FEAR is to stop federal management and supervisors from being discriminatory or retaliating against workers; the OSHA law protections those who report employers who have filed an OSHA complaint; and the 1989 law protects government employees who report agency misconduct.
Being a whistleblower can be difficult, but people who plan to take that step should understand the entire process beforehand. A law firm that is experienced in whistleblower protection can provide guidance and advice about the process and how to be protected. Before doing anything else to report illegality or wrongdoing on the job, this is the first call that a prospective whistleblower should make.