Ask a Wrongful Termination Attorney: What Legal Protections Do Whistleblowers Have in Missouri?
If you are considering becoming a whistleblower, you may be wondering what protections are in place to shield you from retaliation. Here is an overview of the protections offered in our state, and if you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact a wrongful termination attorney in Kansas City for more information. They can help you to navigate this tricky system more easily.
The Whistleblower’s Protection Act
The Whistleblower’s Protection Act is a state law that protects public and private employees from retaliation if they report certain types of misconduct. This law applies to any employee who reports illegal activity, waste, fraud, or misuse of funds. If you are retaliated against by your employer for blowing the whistle, you might be able to file a claim under this law.
The Missouri Human Rights Act
The Missouri Human Rights Act is a state law that prohibits discrimination in the workplace on the basis of certain protected characteristics. This includes race, religion, sex, national origin, and disability. If you are retaliated against by your employer for reporting discrimination or harassment, you may be able to file a claim under this law.
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act is a federal law that protects whistleblowers from retaliation if they report securities fraud. If you are an employee of a publicly traded company and you are retaliated against for blowing the whistle on securities fraud, you may have a claim under this law.
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act was established in 2002 in response to the Enron scandal. The act contains provisions that protect whistleblowers from retaliation, and it also establishes certain procedures for reporting securities fraud, such as requiring the creation of an anonymous hotline.
In addition to the laws we have already discussed, there are several other federal and state laws that may protect you if you are retaliated against for blowing the whistle. These laws include the False Claims Act, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform, and the Consumer Protection Act. Depending on your specific situation, you may have a claim under one or more of these laws. Hiring a lawyer is crucial because, as you can see, there are many paths available to whistleblowers.
Procedure for Whistleblowing in Missouri
If you have witnessed illegal activity, waste, fraud, discrimination, or harassment in the workplace, you should report it to your supervisor or another appropriate individual in your company. If you are not comfortable doing this, you can always contact a wrongful termination lawyer to help you make a report.
Once you have made a report, your employer is legally obligated to investigate the matter. If they find that the misconduct did occur, they should take appropriate corrective action. This could include firing, disciplining, or transferring the offending employees.
Eligibility for Protection for Whistleblowing
To be eligible for protection under any of these laws, you must first report the misconduct to a supervisor, law enforcement, or a government agency. You will not be protected from retaliation if you do not take this initial step. Additionally, the law only protects employees who are retaliated against for reporting misconduct. If you are fired for another reason, such as poor job performance, you will not be protected under these laws.
Retaliation Protection for Whistleblowing
If you have been retaliated against by your employer for being a whistleblower, you may be entitled to certain remedies, such as reinstatement, back pay, and damages. You should contact wrongful termination attorneys in Kansas City to find a lawyer who is a good fit for you. Then you can discuss your case, and the lawyer will explain what legal options are available to you.
Compensation for Whistleblowers
In addition to the legal protections that are in place, whistleblowers may also be eligible for compensation. The Missouri False Claims Act allows whistleblowers to receive a portion of any money recovered by the state as a result of their information. If you have information about fraud being committed against the state, you should contact an attorney to discuss your case.
Examples of cases where whistleblowers have been successful in receiving compensation include an employee who uncovered that her employer was billing the state for services not rendered and an employee who reported that his company was using substandard materials in the construction of a state building. These two whistleblowers were each awarded a percentage of the money recovered by the state.
Contact a Wrongful Termination Attorney in Kansas City
If you have been the victim of wrongful termination or retaliation, you should contact an experienced wrongful termination attorney in Kansas City. The laws surrounding whistleblowing are complex, and an attorney can help you navigate the legal process and protect your rights. You may be entitled to legal protections and compensation for your information. Do not let fear of retaliation keep you from doing the right thing.