Whistleblowing Laws

Most businesses do things that their employees don’t agree with from time to time. However, in rare cases, a company will engage in practices that are illegal, unethical, or even dangerous to the larger community. When employers break the law in this manner, workers are well within their rights to report the behavior to the proper authorities. Unfortunately, companies sometimes retaliate against workers who stand up against unethical practices. If you think your employer fired or otherwise penalized you for whistleblowing, don’t hesitate to speak to an experienced employment attorney about your options. 


What Constitutes Whistleblowing?

The term whistleblower originated with police and merchants, who used to blow a whistle to let the public know a crime had been committed. Today, the word refers to employees who alert the public to crimes and illicit behavior occurring in the business world. In general, whistleblowers let people know about acts committed by their employer that cause harm to individuals or violate the public trust. Examples of actions that might merit an employee to become a whistleblower include:

  • Inadequate cleaning procedures at a food manufacturing plant
  • Insider trading at a bank or financial institution
  • Poor disposal of waste products
  • Improper use of safety measures or equipment at a facility
  • Security issues at a data storage company 
  • Abuse of authority
  • Waste of funds
  • Racial discrimination and sexual harassment


Arizona Protections for Whistleblowers

The federal Whistleblower Protection Act exists to safeguard workers who report crimes and misconduct on their part of their employers. However, individual states also have laws in place to protect employees under these circumstances. The Arizona Employment Protection Act prevents employer retaliation by stating the following:

  • Companies can’t discharge workers who refuse to commit illegal actions in the course of doing their job
  • Companies can’t fire or discriminate against workers who file complaints for safety violations
  • Companies can’t retaliate against workers who report the illegal use of pesticides that could be harmful to the public
  • Companies can’t retaliate against workers who report on illegal or unethical behavior the business plans to do in the future

Additionally, Arizona law states that companies are barred from taking reprisal against any employee who discloses information of public concern. An experienced employment law attorney can let you know whether federal and state laws will protect you from termination or retaliation before you take action to become a whistleblower.


Why Contact an Attorney for Your Whistleblower Case

The law protects whistleblowers who reasonably believe they are protecting public health and safety from suffering retaliation or termination by their employer. However, that doesn’t mean companies won’t look for ways to punish workers who blow the whistle. Here are some of the many reasons to consider hiring a lawyer to represent you in a whistleblower case:


Protection Against Retaliation

One of the benefits of hiring an employment lawyer for your whistleblower case is that they can protect you from threats, punitive behavior, and other unethical actions on the part of your employer. In some cases, your attorney may even be able to help preserve your identity by keeping your identity a secret during the case.


Collecting Evidence

Another reason to work with an employment attorney is that they can help gather evidence for your case. An experienced labor lawyer knows what it takes to win a whistleblower case, and they can advise you about obtaining emails, financial records, and other documents. They may also suggest that you wait until securing more evidence before you file a claim. 


Securing Government Aid

Finally, a skilled employment attorney may be able to get the government involved in your case. The fact is that whistleblower cases tend to be more successful when the government gets on board. Your attorney has the experience needed to build a case so that the government is motivated to join.


Trust Us With Your Employment Case

Employment laws are constantly evolving, and different work environments have their own unique rules and standards. Fortunately, the team at Phoenix Employment Law is up to date on the latest state and federal laws governing whistleblowers. We’ve handled a wide array of labor and employment cases and have the skill set required to represent your interests. To schedule your no-obligation consultation, call today or contact our team online