Recently, a scientist at the United States Department of Interior issued a public statement about a whistleblowing lawsuit he filed against the Federal government. In this case, he filed a suit alleging that the federal government was systemically eliminating jobs, transferring workers to different positions where their skills were unused, and even bullied workers for their opinions. The scientist himself, who had worked to reduce pollution and end climate change, was “re-assigned” to a new job in an accounting department, working to collect royalty checks from oil companies. Other scientists faced similar reassignments that were far outside their typical job duties. According to the suit, many felt that the reassignments were so bad that the “had no choice” but to quit. At least 50 employees were reassigned. The current lawsuit was filed pursuant to federal whistleblowing laws that protect workers who speak up about fraud and abuses of power in the workplace.
Whistleblower lawsuits are an important tool for workers who witness fraudulent or unethical conduct occurring at their jobs, but worry about speaking out. Workers may be placed in an uncomfortable position, either being forced to participate in unethical or illegal conduct, and/or worrying about losing their job if they say something. Fortunately, many federal and state whistleblower laws exist that protect if you “blow the whistle” on illegal conduct. This may include violations of OSHA, committing fraud against the government, or violating any number of financial disclosure requirements. As with employment discrimination, in order to help eliminate it, it is important that workers speak out when they see fraudulent and illegal activity - and that they are protected when they do so.
For more information or to learn more about your rights and the protections that exist, contact our Atlanta whistleblower attorneys at Buckley Beal. We can help guide you through your claim and protect you from adverse actions and retaliations.