Written by attorney Jason M. Zuckerman

Do federal laws protect whistleblowers against retaliation?

Do federal laws protect whistleblowers against retaliation? There are many laws that protect corporate whistleblowers against retaliation. There are many variations in these laws, but all of them usually have four elements. One, did the employee blow the whistle on an issue that is protected under the statute? For example, did the employee raise a concern about a violation of FCC rule? That would be protected under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Number two. Did the employer know about the employees protected activity or suspect that the employee blew the whistle? Number three. Was there some adverse employment action, some harmful action to the employee? Number four. Is there a link between the protected whistleblowing and that adverse employment action? Under these laws, corporate whistleblowers can get a wide variety of remedies. Those include loss pay, emotional distress damages, loss future earnings, and under some laws, a corporate whistleblower can recover punitive damages.

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