One of the fastest-growing areas of employment litigation is the whistleblower and retaliation type of case. The stakes are high for employers, with claims amounting to millions of dollars. There are dozens of whistleblower protection statutes, including provisions tucked into the federal Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX), and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Many of them are administered through OSHA and have unusually protective (for employees) procedures, such as immediate reinstatement prior to a final decision.
Many cases handled by other law firms in the retaliation area have featured a rejection of the former employee’s original claim of discrimination or other bad treatment, but have then gone on to award substantial sums after finding the employer took adverse action after the original complaint was made. The EEOC has recently put out policy guidance that is intended to explain retaliation protections under the laws administered by that agency.
Our lawyers work closely with the HR departments to avoid circumstances that could lead to whistleblower and retaliation claims. We can also investigate allegations of retaliation and provide thorough reports of our findings, which can lead to early resolution. Finally, we have also successfully defended whistleblower and retaliation claims before the OSHA Administrative Review Board (“ARB”) and federal appeals courts, as well as state and federal trial courts.