Phoenix Whistleblower Attorneys
What do you do when your employer breaks the law, and you feel compelled to reveal the violation to an authority figure? The first thing you should do is consult with a knowledgeable Phoenix Whistleblower attorney. Employees who expose the illegal activities of their employers are called whistleblowers, and several whistleblower protection laws shield employees from professional fallout for their disclosures. However, you need to disclose your employer’s legal violations in the right way before you can take advantage of whistleblower protections.
At Shields Petitti & Zoldan, PLC, our experienced Phoenix whistleblower lawyers can guide you through the reporting process and its aftermath. Our legal team has been in practice for over 50 years combined, championing employee rights and pulling out multi six-figure victories for our clients. There is no employment dispute too simple or too complex for us to tackle.
What Is Whistleblower Retaliation?
Many businesses, organizations, and agencies try to intimidate their employees into staying silent about misconduct by retaliating against or threatening to retaliate against whistleblowers. And what does whistleblower retaliation look like? Reprisal can come in many forms. If you experience any of the following adverse treatment from your employer after disclosing or attempting to disclose a legal violation, you might be a victim of whistleblower retaliation:
- Reduced pay,
- Job termination,
- Unfavorable work assignments,
- Isolation or exclusion from work opportunities,
- Reduction or termination of benefits, or
- Unwanted job transfers.
Talk to one of our knowledgeable Phoenix whistleblower retaliation lawyers about your experiences. Our team can take appropriate legal action to restore what you have lost and hold your employer accountable.
Your Rights Under Whistleblower Protection Laws
While understandably difficult to do, whistleblowing serves the good of society in a significant way. If you are pointing out unlawful conduct in your workplace, you could be helping protect colleagues and the public from abuse, waste, physical danger, or financial ruin. But pointing out illegal activity could also subject you to unwarranted punishment or negative treatment at your workplace. That is why the State of Arizona and the federal government have passed laws to protect whistleblowers from adverse treatment in the workplace.
If you are a public employee, section 38-532 of the Arizona Revised Statutes can protect you after you reveal one of the following acts of your employer:
- Any violation of the law,
- A gross waste of money, or
- An abuse of authority.
To receive the benefits of this law, you must have a reasonable belief that there was a violation, and you must make your disclosure to a public body. Also, your disclosure must be in a writing that includes the date, your name, the nature of your employer’s violation, and the date each violation occurred (if possible).
For the private sector, section 23-425 of the Arizona Revised Statutes forbids employers from retaliating against employees who report or help with the investigation of workplace safety violations. If you notice hazards in your workplace and want to expose them for the sake of your safety and others’ safety, consult with one of our Phoenix whistleblower protection attorneys, who can safeguard your interests during and after the reporting process.
The Federal Whistleblower Protection Act guards federal employees from reprisals for exposing the following misdeeds committed by their federal employers:
- Abusing authority,
- Violating regulations,
- Gross mismanagement,
- Violating laws,
- Grossly wasting funds,
- Violating rules, or
- Causing substantial and specific danger to public health or safety.
Once again, you must reasonably believe that a violation took place before you report it. Also, the adverse action taken against you has to have been influenced by someone who knew about your whistleblowing before you can seek protection under the law.
Private employees also have federal rights against whistleblower retaliation for exposing employer violations that include infringement on the following:
- Consumer safety rules,
- Employee wage laws,
- Family and medical leave rights,
- Environmental protection laws,
- Youth employment laws,
- Mining laws,
- Anti-fraud laws,
- Rights of military members,
- Financial obligations,
- Anti-discrimination laws,
- Agricultural laws,
- Employee safety laws,
- Health insurance laws,
- Workplace inspection requirements, and
- Transportation rules.
Violations regarding the above-listed issues are governed by several different federal agencies. So, if you have workplace mistreatment or wrongful termination claims due to whistleblowing, you should speak with a skilled attorney about the appropriate agency to contact regarding your complaints.
We Have the Knowledge and Skills to Protect You
When you are dealing with mistreatment from an employer who is willing to break the law and cover its tracks, you need an experienced and aggressive advocate in your corner. You can find exactly that at Shields Petitti & Zoldan. Our whistleblower protection attorneys are highly experienced and unafraid to fight employers big and small. We are also highly respected among our clients and in the legal community. If you need help, call us or contact us online to schedule a consultation.
How Do I File a Whistleblower Retaliation Complaint?
How you file a whistleblower retaliation complaint depends on the type of employer you have and the violation it committed. Whistleblowers who report violations of state law can file their complaints with the Industrial Commission of Arizona.
Many private employees who recognize violations of federal law can file complaints through one of the subdivisions of the department of labor. And private and public employees can seek redress through the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) if they were retaliated against for reporting or helping with a discrimination complaint. Also, federal employees can seek relief through the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB).
How Do I Prove Whistleblower Retaliation?
Two major facts you must prove in many whistleblower retaliation cases are the following:
- You had a reasonable belief that your employer broke the law, and
- You were punished at work because you reported your employer’s legal violation.
To prove these elements, you will need to understand the laws that your employer violated. You might also need to gather evidence that includes witness testimony, personnel records, employment records, and employer correspondence.
Our employment lawyers are also able to assist you with the following cases:
- Arbitration and Mediation
- Business Contract
- Constructive Discharge
- Employee Advocacy
- Employer Counseling
- Employment Litigation
- Hostile Work Environment
- Medical & Disability Leave
- Sexual Harassment
- Small Business Consulting
- Wage and Hour Violation
- Workplace Discrimination
- Workplace Retaliation
- Wrongful Termination