Employees working for the federal government are encouraged to identify any actions they believe to be wrong, any gross misuse of federal funds, or any abuse of authority they witness coming from a fellow employee or supervisor. While the reporting of these actions is encouraged in theory, many employees find themselves facing repercussions after they exercise their obligation to engage in whistleblowing when they feel something is amiss in the workplace.
To ensure that you are able to avoid harassment for whistleblowing, you need to know your rights. Here are three types of unlawful retaliation to be watching for if you act as a whistleblower in the future.
1. Unsupported Disciplinary Action
You may find that your supervisors retaliate against you by doling out unsupported disciplinary action after you are identified as a whistleblower.
It's important that you keep a record of all your employee evaluations. If there is a sudden change in your supervisors' evaluation of your performance, and this change occurs after you report activity that you feel is wrong, then you could pursue legal redress for these unfounded disciplinary actions.
Be sure that you talk to your lawyer about your options if you feel that you are being punished through unsupported disciplinary actions for being a whistleblower.
2. Change In Duties
Each federal job is associated with a list of clearly defined duties. Any sudden alteration in the duties you are asked to perform that occurs after you report suspicious activity within your workplace could be retaliation against you because you are a whistleblower.
If you find that your supervisors dramatically increase or decrease your workload after you lodge a formal report asking authorities to look into behavior you feel is amiss, then you may be able to take legal action to prevent these changes in your duties. Be sure to talk to your lawyer about your options.
3. Denial Of A Promotion
If you were in line for a promotion prior to acting as a whistleblower but passed over for the promotion for no apparent reason, then you may want to speak to your lawyer about your legal options. Your supervisors could be punishing you for blowing the whistle on suspicious activity within your workplace.
Be sure to evaluate whether you have more experience, better credentials, and superior skill when compared to the employee who was awarded the promotion. If you are the more qualified party, then you may want to take legal action to prevent your whistleblowing activities from costing you a valuable promotion.
When you know your rights as a lawful whistleblower, you are able to protect yourself from unlawful retaliation in the workplace. To learn more, contact a law firm that specializes in whistleblower representation.