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Improvements to whistleblowing legislation

Most employees in Wisconsin and elsewhere around the nation go to their jobs every day, expecting safe and ethical working environments. If they were to discover practices that violate that safety or ethics, they should be able to report the violations without fear of retaliation from their employers. Whistleblowing laws have been established to protect workers from such retaliation.  A lawmaker has recently introduced legislation that would increase protection for whistleblowers in another state.

The state senator cited a 2013 case in which an employee was fired after voicing concerns about his employer. He had claimed that employees were required to work in hazardous situations with inadequate safety training. There were also accusations of inappropriate billing practices, contract bidding and equipment testing. While most of his accusations were proven in an investigation, the man still lost his job. His retaliation lawsuit was settled last  year.

The lawmaker wanted to ensure that employees in her state had the freedom to voice their concerns in the workplace. While their state law already protects employees against retaliation, the proposed bill extends that protection. It would establish a procedure for complaint reporting and allow whistleblowers to keep their anonymity. Also, extensive training would be providing about employee rights.

When an employee reports something amiss in the workplace, the expected response from an employer is that the situation will be investigated and rectified. No employee with the courage to go through the whistleblowing process should face the loss of a job. Those who have experienced this type of retaliation may wish to file a lawsuit against the company. A Wisconsin attorney experienced in employment law can help clients seek retribution through the legal process.

Source: statesmanjournal.com, "Oregon weighs whistleblower protection after Statesman Journal report", Tracy Loew, Jan. 26, 2018

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