Wrongful termination is a form of retaliation some employers may take to punish employees who exercise their workplace rights or report violations of workplace laws. If you were fired after reporting or complaining of an illegal activity you observed while at work, you may have been wrongfully terminated. A wrongful termination lawyer can help those who have been retaliated against recover financial damages, including past and future lost wages. Attorney Dan A. Atkerson is experienced in wrongful termination after whistleblowing cases for clients in and around Plano, TX, and is ready to help you. If you believe you were wrongfully terminated after whistleblowing, you are encouraged to contact our law firm to get the justice you deserve.
What Is Whistleblowing?
Whistleblowing is the term used to describe the act of an employee of a government agency or private business reporting conduct that is illegal or corrupt. Wrongdoing may include things like mislabeling products, lying on tax returns, or committing shareholder fraud.
Laws Protect Whistleblowers
In the event a business or government agency is participating in illegal activity or other wrongdoing, it is important that employees feel protected from termination or other retaliation for reporting the unscrupulous activity. Reporting such behavior is often in the best interest of the public and may even be a matter of public safety.
Because of this, there are laws that protect employees from being fired for whistleblowing on certain types of illegal activity. In fact, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides workers with broad protections against retaliation for whistleblowing through a number of federal statutes.
It should also be noted that state laws regarding whistleblowing vary by location. Some states, including Texas, allow employees who have been fired for whistleblowing to sue their former employers for wrongful termination.
Recourse for Wrongful Termination After Whistleblowing
When a person is fired after whistleblowing, there may be grounds for a wrongful termination case. An experienced wrongful termination attorney can help create a timeline of the events that led up to the termination as well as gather evidence to support the person's claims.
A lawsuit is only one possible avenue for seeking recourse in the event of wrongful termination after whistleblowing. Other options include filing a complaint with OSHA or other government agency, or negotiating directly with the victim's employer. The right course of action will depend on the details of each wrongful termination claim and is best decided through the guidance of an attorney.
Types of Damages In a Wrongful Termination Claim
In the event of a wrongful termination lawsuit, employees may seek the following types of damages:
- Wages and benefits lost from being wrongfully terminated
- Front pay, meaning lost future wages until a new job is found
- Job reinstatement
- Out-of-pocket expenses incurred as a result of being fired
- Attorney's fees and court costs
- Punitive damages
- Pain and suffering
Contact the Law Offices of Dan A. Atkerson
Terminating an employee for reporting an illegal activity or wrongdoing committed by an employer should not be ignored. A wrongful termination lawsuit can help hold employers liable for their conduct and prevent the future mistreatment of other employees. If you believe you were fired in retaliation for whistleblowing, you may be entitled to compensation through a wrongful termination lawsuit. Contact our law firm today to find out which legal options are right for your unique circumstances.