Employees have the right to expose dangerous, harmful or illegal practices without the fear of being fired because they made a report. Whether your employer is allowing harassment or is putting defective products on the market, you have the right to tell authorities. To protect yourself from retaliation such as dismissal, demotion or harassment, hire a lawyer before you expose your employer.
A whistleblower lawyer can review your information and advise you on the best way to proceed. If you are still working with the employer you want to expose and you plan to keep your job, you need a good lawyer on your team from the beginning to protect your rights. By choosing an attorney who is knowledgeable in the area of employment law that affects whistleblowers, you can be confident that your case will be handled professionally.
Retaliation, including firing, is common in whistleblower cases. Having the right documentation is extremely important if you want to prove you were fired because you reported an unsafe or illegal working condition. When you hire a lawyer first, you can ensure that everything related to your case is properly documented and prepared in case you face retaliation after you make the report. You will need to give your lawyer any written reviews or disciplinary reports from your employer in the time period surrounding your official report. The timing of retaliation is an important element in proving an employer acted illegally in whistleblower cases.
Each state has protections for whistleblowers that vary slightly. While New Jersey employees are required to give their employer an opportunity to correct a problem before reporting it to authorities, this rule does not apply in emergency situations or when the employer is already aware of the problem. Your whistleblower lawyer will know about the laws that pertain to whistleblowing in your area and can give you advice on how to expose your employer so you are in compliance with the law and protected from retaliation. A lawyer may also be able to assist you if you have already exposed your employer and you suffered retaliation due to the report.
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