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Whistleblower Protection For Employees

Whistleblower Protection For Employees: Under the newly enacted Illinois Whistleblower Act, employees are protected under three separate provisions plus a damages clause:

Therefore an employee may not be retaliated against for disclosing suspected violations of state or federal law to a government or law enforcement agency. However, the employee must disclose the violation to those agencies. Reporting the conduct to human resources isn’t adequate. Likewise, the employee’s suspicion does not need to actually be true, nor is the employee required to prove conclusively that the violation happened. Forthwith, the requirement is the employee needs to have a reasonable cause to believe that a violation occurred. The law covering the Whistleblower can be found at 740 Ill. Comp. Stat. 174/15.

Protected Activity

Therefore employees may not be retaliated against for refusing to participate in an activity that violates state or federal law. 740 Ill. Comp. Stat. 174/20. Whereas It is my experience that retaliation takes place far too often in workplaces and employees should take care to document any retaliation. Basically, retain any document you believe will help your case. Certainly, following my advice will help as well.

Illinois Statute and Handbooks

Lastly, employers are prohibited from adopting policies that prevent employees from disclosing suspected violations of state or federal law to a government or law enforcement agency. 740 Ill. Comp. Stat. 174/10. Therefore the company cannot put anything in the employee handbook which would prohibit the employee from reporting such conduct.

Whereas if an employer violates any portion of the Whistleblower law, the employer, liability includes the following relief. Whereas if the employee no longer works for the employer, twice the amount owed in back pay, actual damages and special damages, which include mandatory attorney fees and costs may be sought. However punitive damages are not allowed under the law. However, I can put a employment agreement in place which may help.

Covered Statutes and time frames

Whistleblower Protection For Employees requires OSHA administers to cover twenty whistleblower statutes with varying time limits for filing. Accordingly, where you work matters. Therefore the time frame for filing a complaint begins when the adverse action, such as a firing, occurs and is communicated to the employee. Forthwith, I will provide a list of agencies and times. Varying time frames for reporting and filing are as follows:

30 Days

  • Section 11(c) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act)
  • Clean Air Act (CAA)
  • Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA)
  • Federal Water Pollution Control Act (FWPCA)
  • Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA)
  • Solid Waste Disposal Act (SWDA)
  • Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)

60 Days

  • International Safe Container Act (ISCA)

90 Days

  • Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA)
  • Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA)
  • Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century (AIR21)
  • 180 Days

  • Affordable Care Act (ACA)
  • Consumer Financial Protection Act (CFPA)
  • Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA)
  • Criminal Antitrust Anti-Retaliation Act (CAARA)
  • Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, as amended by the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (ERA)
  • Federal Railroad Safety Act (FRA)
  • FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)
  • Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21)
  • National Transit Systems Security Act (NTSSA)
  • Pipeline Safety Improvement Act (PSIA)
  • Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX)
  • Seaman’s Protection Act (SPA)
  • Surface Transportation Assistance Act (STAA)
  • Taxpayer First Act (TFA)
  • Therefor, please contact my office if you believe you are being retaliated against at work.

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