Posts Tagged With ‘retaliation’

A Food Safety Modernization Act clause will allow food and agricultural workers protection should they raise the flag on unsafe practices. Section 402 protects privately employed food and agriculture workers who take action reporting food safety concerns. Under the clause, such workers cannot be discharged or punished for their whistleblowing.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is the agency responsible for enforcing these new provisions. They oversee 20 such whistleblower rules, all of which protect workers from retaliation after blowing the whistle on unsafe practices in the workplace.

Many of the FSMA provisions have taken years to enact, but the whistleblowing clause went into effect the moment President Obama signed the law in 2011. Since that time, OSHA has been collecting complaints from food and agriculture workers about food safety.

Before this clause was put into place, people who complained about food safety in the workplace could be fired and retaliated against for speaking up. A Texas peanut plant employee tried to raise the flag about products contaminated with salmonella. Unfortunately, his concerns went unheard and nine people were sickened and killed by the contaminated peanut products. Thousands of others were also made sick by the peanuts.

Unfortunately, the man and his family now live in poverty, in spite of his attempt to do what was right. This is a story that is far too common among whistleblowers of all industries. Thankfully, this clause should help put a stop to retaliation and punishment of people like the peanut whistleblower.

Have You Witnessed Illegal Practices?

If you have been brave enough to reveal unsafe, fraudulent, or deceitful practices within your company, you should not be punished.  If you are aware of unsafe, fraudulent, or deceitful practices within your company, but have not come forward, you need guidance.  In both instances, you deserve the protection that the law affords you. Do not stand by and be bullied into silence by your company.

If you’ve been curious to learn more about whistleblowers but have been too afraid to reach out for guidance, this is your guide.

 1.       Whistleblowing isn’t limited to one particular industry. Any time illegal activity takes place, workers can blow the whistle. That means healthcare fraud – like overbilling or improper coding – can be exposed. Government contractors, too, can sound the alarm. Whether you work in the private or the public sector, unethical behavior can be reported.
2.       The risks might seem to outweigh the benefits… Whistleblowers may face unfair, illegal retaliation for their actions. Even before an employee blows the whistle, managers may make threats to people thinking of sounding the alarm. Supervisors mistakenly believe they can scare their employees into silence. But termination, suspension and other common whistleblower consequences are all illegal.
3.       But the rewards will be worth while. The Whistleblower Reward Program, started by the SEC, offers a prize for those who sound the alarm. In 2016, an industry expert – someone outside of the company or government agency they reported – was awarded $700,000 in prize money for his actions. The U.S. government’s whistleblower programs make hundreds of rewards every year as an incentive to report illegal activity.
4.       Whistleblowers are protected by law. Congress passed the Whistleblower Protection Act in 1989, ensuring responsible, ethical employees are safe from retaliation from their superiors or colleagues. Unfortunately, illegal forms of retaliation like termination and hush money still occur all the time. This is when whistleblowers need help.
5.       Attorneys that specialize in whistleblower lawsuits can give you guidance and make sure you’re treated fairly. Those who are brave enough to reveal fraudulent or deceitful practices within their company should not be punished.  If you are aware of such practices within your company but have not come forward, you need guidance.  In both instances, you deserve the protection that the law affords you. Do not stand by and be bullied into silence by your company.

Whistleblower Protection Attorneys

Are you aware of illegal practices going on at your workplace, but are afraid of being retaliated against if you report them? Or maybe you have already reported illegal practices, and have been fired or demoted? If so, you may want to speak to an experienced whistleblower attorney.

There are federal laws in place that protect and reward whistleblowers that shed light on individuals or companies that are engaged in fraudulent activities. For more information visit our Whistleblower Protection page, or contact us to discuss your situation.

The Regional Center for Border Health, located in Yuma, Arizona, has been sued by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for retaliation.

The agency states that Regional Center for Border Health violated federal law by terminating an employee upon filing a complaint of sexual harassment.

The lawsuit notes that the woman was hired in May 2011. The next month, her supervisor touched her inappropriately on two occasions. After a couple days, she reported the act to human resources. Eventually, she filed a written report to her employer. That same day, however, she was fired.

While the health center claims she was terminated because she was “incompatible” with the supervisor, the EEOC believes it was related to the harassment complaint.

Do You Need an Employment Lawyer?
Contact Attorney Cindra Dowd 877-544-5323

Skanska USA Building, a construction company located in New Jersey, will pay $95,000 to settle a retaliation and racial harassment lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

According to the lawsuit, Skanska directly violated federal law when it allowed workers to racially harass a group of African American employees. Furthermore, the company then fired these employees when they complained about the way they were being treated.

To go along with the settlement of $95,000, the consent decree adds the following:

“The three-year consent decree settling the lawsuit enjoins Skanska from subjecting employees to racial harassment or retaliating against any employee who lodges a discrimination complaint. The consent decree also requires defendant to provide in-person training on race discrimination and retaliation, maintain records of any complaints of racial harassment, and provide annual reports to the EEOC.”

Virginia Employment Lawyer – Cindra Dowd

Where you denied a  job opportunity because of your race? Are you being discriminated against because of the color of your skin? These are serious situations that should be dealt with accordingly.

The law strictly forbids race/color discrimination in any aspect of employment, including: hiring, firing, job responsibilities, pay, layoff, promotions, benefits, and training. It is against the law to harass an applicant or employee because of their race or skin color. Contact Cindra Dowd to discuss your situation 877-544-5323.

Overall, employment discrimination claims are falling. On the flipside, claims alleging retaliation against a worker reached an all-time high in 2014. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) noted that charges alleging retaliation reached 42.8 percent last year.

Below are the top 10 categories of charged filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission:

  • Retaliation
  • Race
  • Sex
  • Disability
  • Age
  • National origin
  • Religion
  • Color
  • Equal Pay Act
  • Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act

In addition to the many claims filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, there is another telling statistic: the agency obtained more than $296 million in compensation through its enforcement program. Furthermore, this is monetary relief obtained before litigation.

Do You Need an Employment Lawyer? – GET HELP NOW

If a person feels they have been a victim of discrimination or retaliation, they have the right to consult with an attorney and/or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Contact us today if you’d like to speak with Employment Attorney Cindra Dowd about your rights.