Employees are expected to perform their jobs in an appropriate manner. There are often specific ways that things should be done, and employers usually insist their employees follow all established guidelines and procedures. At least this is the case in most Wisconsin workplaces. However, in some instances, the employer chooses to take shortcuts, undermining the health and safety of workers, which can lead to an employee informing the proper authorities about such questionable practices. However, although protected by law, that employee may face retaliation on the job for his or her whistleblowing.
In 2010, a woman with almost thirty years’ experience in her industry began a new job at a nuclear plant just outside of Wisconsin. Reports indicate that she performed her duties in a careful, meticulous manner. While performing her assigned duties, she noticed possible safety concerns and reported them.
During the same time-period, manager’s responsible for this employee began to complain about her job performance. They suggested that she took too long to perform her tasks. Over the course of time, these managers issued reprimands stating that she was a disruption and placed her on suspension.
The employee claimed that these reprimands and suspension were in retaliation to her filing whistleblowing reports against the company. Her claims of safety concerns were investigated, but they were not substantiated. However, some suggest that very few claims investigated by the agency responsible for this industry are actually found to have merit.
Employees who take great care in the performance of their jobs generally do so out of a sense of pride and concern for their reputation as well as the Wisconsin company’s reputation. When serious problems are noted, these employees expect that something will be done to rectify the problem. Unfortunately, not all companies appreciate this effort and treat these whistleblowers as the enemy. In a situation such as this one, it may be necessary to seek assistance through the courts.
Source: chicagobusiness.com, “In this power struggle, the whistleblowers always lose“, Madison Hopkins and Brett Chase, Dec. 21, 2017