In North Carolina, What Are My Rights in Seeking Whistleblower Protection?

January 12, 2023 by Lewis
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Whistleblowers have a legal right to report any fraudulent or illegal activities they observe in their place of employment. Although the law encourages employers to adopt policies to facilitate this process, not all employers follow the law.

In some cases, reporting illegal activities at the workplace can land an employee in trouble and jeopardize their professional career due to retaliation from the employer.

You have a right to say what needs to be said without worrying about any prospects. In such circumstances, it is crucial to be aware of your rights and contact a competent attorney to explore your legal options.

About Whistleblowing

Whistleblowers are individuals who report unethical, fraudulent, or illegal practices in their workplace to a government agency or their employer.

These violations of the law can vary greatly in terms of their extent and severity, ranging from unaddressed safety hazards at the workplace to financial fraud and more.

Under United States law, all employers are required to provide whistleblowers with adequate anonymity and protection without any threat of retaliation. Some rights need to be upheld especially in a court of law which is what a licensed legal professional will make sure of.

Protection for Whistleblowers

North Carolina law protects whistleblowers from retaliation by their employers for whistleblowing and applies to all government organizations. These protections might extend to selected private companies that are contracted by the government or receive funding from the state.

Retaliation against whistleblowers can take multiple forms, including threats of termination, demotion, withholding salary payments, hostile work environment, and more.

Any retaliatory action against a whistleblower protected under federal and state law is illegal and can be challenged in a court of law besides official complaints with the relevant government authorities.

Safeguarding Your Legal Rights

If your employer took retaliatory actions against you for reporting illegal activity at your workplace, you might be able to take some measures to safeguard your legal rights. It is important to know where you stand and what your rights are, to begin with.

Your employer should not hold all the power in these types of situations. Here is what you need to do to protect your rights in case of employer retaliation.

Documentation of Adverse Actions

You should thoroughly document any adverse actions taken in retaliation against you and have a written record of the exact time, location, and any witnesses for future reference. This is important to take note of in case anything happens to you at your job.

Documentation of retaliation is the most crucial supporting evidence in legal proceedings related to whistleblower protection. Any inappropriate behavior like this is not okay and should be marked down as such.

These details are very important to keep up with and a legal professional will want to go over them with you.

Filing a Complaint with Your Employer

In any instance of retaliation, the first step is to contact your employer and file an official complaint with them. It not only gets the incident in writing but also prompts an employer to take relevant action. They will have to file the complaint and document it somewhere. It’s best to cover your tracks as much as possible.

That way the court will be able to create a clear picture of what is going on in the workplace. Your lawyer will want to see these documents as well so make sure to keep track of what you are always doing.

Filing a Complaint with the Department of Labor

In most cases, whistleblowers might not feel comfortable filing a complaint with their employer. If you find yourself in such a situation, you should file a complaint with the Department of Labor in North Carolina.

Where your complaint will be officially investigated. This is another great way to cover your tracks while having another group investigate your case. The Department of Labor is a good middleman and will make sure that you are covered while your case is being investigated.

Filing a Lawsuit Against Your Employer

If you have tried the given steps without success, you can file a lawsuit against your employer to seek reparations. Skilled whistleblower lawyers in North Carolina can assist you throughout the process of seeking legal action against your employer and help you obtain justice for your case.

They have the competence necessary to make sure that you get the justice you deserve, and that your employer pays their dues. No condition is worth working in if it makes you feel unsafe.

Conclusion

If you experience retaliation due to whistleblowing at your place of employment, it is important to be aware of your legal rights. You have a right to seek compensation if you are not in a safe situation.

If every other avenue fails, you have the right to pursue legal action against your employer for violating your whistleblower protections provided by the law. A legal professional will make sure you are taken care of and get the justice you deserve.

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