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Can I get fired for being a whistle-blower?

Tucson, AZ |

I turned in a co-worker to the police for having child endangering information on his work computer. Mt boss was treating me bad

Attorney Answers 2


Legal whistleblower status in conferred on employees who report, and/or assist any government agency (including law enforcement) in uncovering or investigating, illegal actions by an employer. If an employer retaliates against a whistleblowing employee for engaging in protected activity, the employee can file a claim with the Department of Labor, and the employee may be able to maintain a civil action against the employer for unlawful retaliation. I have provided a link to the Department of Labor’s website on whistleblower protection.

The employee’s remedies will vary depending on the law your employer violated. ...And, there are different remedies available in federal laws and state laws. Nonetheless, if the employee is successful in the retaliation claim, damages may include:
• Reinstatement, meaning the employee gets his/her job back;
• Back pay, or the wages lost because of the retaliation;
• Double the amount of any back pay award (sometimes called “liquidated damages”);
• Front pay, or an amount that's meant to pay for future wages lost because of the retaliation;
• Punitive damages, which are meant to punish the employer and persuade it not to retaliate in the future;
• Attorney's fees.

Please note that I am not licensed to practice in your state. I am providing information only on federal law relating to your question. You should consult an attorney in your state for information on applicable state laws.

Good luck.

Your question has been answered as a courtesy. This is not paid legal advice. Nothing in this communication is intended to create an attorney-client relationship. Unless expressly stated otherwise, nothing contained in this message should be construed as a digital or electronic signature, nor is it intended to reflect an intention to make an agreement by electronic means.

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2 lawyers agree


Whistle-blower protection applies to specific types of activity, like raising a workplace safety concern. I don't believe that raising a concern of criminal activity to the police is an activity that would be protected, and I don't believe that your situation would fall within the the DOL's purview.

My answers to questions posted on AVVO are intended to provide general information only, and are not intended to be legal advice. Employment law issues typically require a careful case-by-case analysis. Consequently, if you feel that you need legal advice, I would encourage you to consult in person with an employment attorney in your area.

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