When it comes to their job and career goals, employees often have more responsibilities than their job summary provides. In addition to their normal daily tasks, employees should be aware of the ethics and legality of the work conducted at the workplace. When a worker is concerned that something illegal is going on, it is important that they speak out. Unfortunately, employees are fearful of losing their job if they say something and it ends up being wrong. Even when they are correct about what they are reporting, the employee fears termination and a damaged professional reputation. This is why whistleblower rights are essential for employees.
When it comes to speaking out about unethical practices and illegal activity in the workplace, whistleblower protection could significantly help the employee that reports such events. Due to these protections, an employee at Minnesota-based Globe University received a nearly $1 million award for damages after she was fired for reporting illegal activity at her place of employment.
According to the record, the woman was fired after she brought evidence to the attention to the members of the executive leadership at the school. She essentially proved to the members that the school has been making illegal and deceptive claims for student recruitment. In addition, she also spoke out about school personnel receiving compensation for recruiting students into the Medical Assisting Program at the school.
Following her termination, she brought a whistleblower claim for the damages she suffered. This resulted in the recent award of nearly $1 million, which includes compensatory damage, interest accrued and attorney's fees.
When an employee feels as though they were mistreated or unlawfully terminated following a whistleblower situation, they might have a cause of action. It is important that they understand the details of their circumstances so they can determine the best course of action to take. This could ultimately result in recovering damages suffered due to the incident.
Source: YAHOO! Finance, "Globe Whistleblower Awarded Nearly $1 Million After Judge's Order," Feb. 14, 2014