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What are whistleblowers?

On Behalf of | Apr 19, 2021 | employee rights |

Pennsylvania workers who report rules violations or illegal activities committed by their employer are often called whistleblowers. These workers help officials eliminate waste and fraud while keeping private employers honest regarding local, state, and federal laws.

Whistleblower protections

It stands to reason that an employer may not be happy with a worker that reports their illegal activities. But these workers are protected from employer retaliation. The Pennsylvania Whistleblower Law protects employees from threats, wrongful termination, or other forms of retaliation. Whistleblowers also enjoy protections from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Securities Exchange Commission, and the Sarbanes Oxley Act.

Whistleblower rewards

Some whistleblowers receive rewards for reporting the illegal activities of employers. This reward is often a percentage of the money the government or other agency recovers through the whistleblower’s information. The whistleblower must provide information that is useful and previously unknown to the agency. There is also a minimum dollar amount attached to the recovery amount before a reward becomes applicable.

Damages for retaliation

Whistleblowers that can prove retaliation from an employer may be able to receive compensation for damages. It is common for whistleblowers who suffer firing to receive compensation for lost wages and work benefits. A court may also award damages for emotional distress, attorney fees, and as part of the punitive action against the employer.

A court may also require the employer to rehire the whistleblower at the same level of employment before termination. The employer must also restore the employee to the same seniority level.

Employees coming forward with information regarding wrongdoing by the company they work for enjoy protection from employer retaliation. Whistleblowers who feel their employer took action against them because of revealed information may benefit from the help of an attorney.