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Discrimination and/or whistleblower case or no case at all?

Lafayette, LA |

Last week I contacted the safety department requesting information on why a new policy was implemented and to voice a safety concern that my boss was aware of. I was unsure if actions were being taken in regards to the safety concern bc it is a continuing issue. Yesterday my boss had a meeting with me to basically say I do not have a right to contact the safety department on these issues. Today he approached me and asked if I told anyone about a policy he informed me about in the meeting. I told him I did and then he fired me. I believe he fired me because I blew the whistle on the safety issue that has not been fixed. I also recorded the 32 minute meeting and have copies of the emails.

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Attorney answers 2


Each state's whistleblower law is different, so you definitely need a LA attorney, but from you describe, you may have a retaliatory discharge claim under federal law - OSHA. The federal Department of Labor handles these claims and there is a very short statute of limitations -- you would need to file a complaint with OSHA within 30 days of the termination, so you need to move quickly or risk losing your rights.


Good for you in taking steps to preserve and document the situation. Depending on the evidence you have, you could have a "whistleblower" complaint under Louisiana law. The "whistleblower" statute is found in La. R.S. 23:967. Your claim may or may not fit under that statute depending on additional facts that you will need to share with your attorney you hired. There is also an unresolved issue of law in Louisiana where you might be able to make a claim under the Louisiana Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Act, but the courts have no ruled on that issue yet.

HOWEVER, your case will be far from a "slam dunk" because Louisiana is an "at will" state. That means unless you had a written employment contract (general rule), your employer can fire you for no reason at all or for good reason. The only time the "at will" doesn't apply is when there is a law protecting you (like, for example, laws against discrimination on the basis of race, religion, sex, etc.).

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