What To Do If You Are Retaliated Against For Whistleblowing

Posted on: 20 March 2019


Most managers like to say they have an open door policy and that any employee is welcome to come in and talk to them about anything. But there's a clear difference between paying lip service to that idea and truly meaning. If you recently reported something to your boss or HR department at work and now you feel like your superiors are retaliating against you, you may have a legal case on your hands. Here are some tips to keep in mind if you want to prove your case.

Don't Get Angry

First things first, do not under any circumstances lash out at your boss or superiors for the retaliation. Causing a scene in the workplace might get you fired for insubordination, and then it'll be over for you before you can even take your retaliation case to court. Remain calm while stating your objections and escalate to someone higher up in the company if needed. If the final decision is still against you, grit your teeth and move on...for now.

Move on to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or State Board

The EEOC has rules in place that govern workplace harassment and retaliation. If you respectfully escalated the issue at work and got nowhere, the EEOC might be able to help. There might also be a state board that offers similar help to the EEOC. You may want to tell your Human Resources department you are filing a complaint with these boards before doing so, as this could make them see that you are truly serious and cause them to re-examine the issue. If not, proceed with your complaint. Include as much written documentation as possible, and try to get witness statements from other employees if possible.

Hire an Attorney

If you want results fast, one solution might be to just go ahead and hire a whistleblower protection attorney. If you tried contacting your superiors and your HR department to no avail, a lawyer may be able to get them to take you more seriously. In fact, many companies might be willing to come up with some kind of settlement offer to you if you agree to put the issue behind you, simply because they don't want to deal with the legal expenses.

If you have been the victim of workplace retaliation, escalate the matter with your HR department or the EEOC. If that isn't getting you any traction, consider hiring an attorney to discuss your next steps.