Retaliation Against Whistleblowing

Whistleblowers are often hesitant to report misconduct witnessed in the workplace.  This hesitancy can be evidenced in a national chamber of commerce report that delineates the percentages of whistleblowers who report being retaliated against.

Whistleblower Protection

WhistleblowingOSHA oversees the administration of many of the U.S. laws established to promote whistleblowing in the workplace and to protect employees who come forward to report criminal conduct, fraud, violations of laws or regulations and other wrongdoing by employers. The standard process in many situations requires a witness to timely file complaint forms with their employer and certain federal agencies.  The complaint process can be long and involved, and unfortunately there have been many instances of retaliation against a work place whistleblower. For more information on starting the process of reporting a claim involving your current employer or company, take a look at This website provides a lot of helpful information and has links to useful resources to help you better understand the process of filing a whistleblower claim with the government. It is important to remember, however, that an employee should always seek the advice of a qualified whistleblower lawyer before beginning the claim process.

Information to Be Aware of

Filing a formal complaint against your employer is not something to be taken lightly. Once the official complaint process has begun, it is permanently filed and cannot be retracted. Because of this, one should consider the following facts before initiating any whistleblowing complaint:

  • Forty-five percent of U.S. workers have observed some form of fraud or misconduct in the workplace. Most whistleblower cases involve a type of fraud that has been observed or witnessed first-hand.
  • Sixty-five percent of individuals who witnessed wrongdoing in the workplace reported the misconduct. OSHA’s protection program mentioned earlier in this article is usually the starting point for most whistleblowers who wish to start the process of filing a work place complaint.
  • Most employees who failed to report wrongdoing at work indicated they did so out of fear of retaliation. Reports indicate that retaliation against whistleblowers is more prevalent today than ever before. That is why numerous federal laws affording whistleblower protection exist to enable employees who learn of misconduct or possible fraud to come forward and report.

Today’s commerce statistics indicate that management-level employees are more likely to be the subject of whistleblower retaliation than non-management employees. This could be due to management’s higher level of access and knowledge about a company’s financial and legal affairs.

Legal avenues are in place to prevent and combat retaliation against whistleblowers, including the OSHA complaint process. Brownstein & Nguyen are Atlanta attorneys experienced in whistleblowing and employment law situations. Contact the law offices of Brownstein & Nguyen to learn more about reporting fraud and wrongdoing in the workplace and how to protect yourself from retaliation in whistleblowing situations.