Whistleblower Retaliation

Illinois whistleblower attorneys recognize that employees often face the difficult decision about whether to keep their jobs or report the alleged illegal activity of their employer.

Federal Whistleblower Laws

There are many different whistleblower laws that protect different employees in different situations. Some federal laws include The Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, The Civil Rights Act, The Clean Air Act, The Fair Labor Standards Act, The False Claims Act, The Labor Management Relations Act and The Sarbanes Oxley Act. Many more statutes provide specific protections to specific groups of employees.

The Illinois Whistleblower Law

Some Illinois employees are also protected by the Illinois Whistleblower Reward and Protection Act. According to the Chicago Tribune, the January 2008 changes to the Illinois Whistleblower Act were significant. Those changes included expanding the protections of the Act to employees who report on the illegal acts of the State of Illinois or local government entities. The law not only protects employees from being fired but also allows whistleblowers to collect damages in qui tam lawsuits. Certain whistleblowers may collect up to 30% of any money recovered because of the information supplied to the government by the whistleblower.

When You May be Protected by Whistleblower Laws

It is important to remember that whistleblowers are protected by different statutes according to their employment situation and the type of illegal activity that they are reporting. Accordingly, each statute has slightly different requirements that an employee must satisfy in order to be protected. Your Illinois whistleblower lawyer can advise you as to the specific statute and legal requirements that apply to you. However, below are some general requirements that apply to many different workers:

  • You must report the alleged illegal activity according to the proper procedures. For example, you may be provided legal protection if you inform your supervisor or a government agency of alleged illegal activity but not if you complain to colleagues who are not in a position of authority.
  • You must report any alleged retaliation within a strictly regulated amount of time. The amount of time within which you must report the retaliation varies by statute but may be as short as 30 days.
  • You may be entitled to file a Qui Tam case if the offense was committed against a governmental entity.

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