Retaliation and Whistleblower Employment Laws
What is a whistleblower?
Whistleblowers located in Illinois can potentially recover money if their employer is getting money unfairly. An example in the healthcare industry of false claims is Medicare fraud. Sometimes employers will bill Medicare or Medicaid or insurance companies for services that were not performed or that were unnecessary. This is illegal.
As a resident of Illinois, you are protected by state and federal (and sometimes local) whistleblower laws. There are many different government agencies with whistle-blower protections ranging from the IRS to the SEC and many more.
Here is a video to learn more about your rights as a whisteblower:
In Illinois, is it illegal to fire or retaliate against an employee for reporting illegal activity?
Illinois law has historically protected employees who report unlawful activity to outside public entities or internally to supervisors. These individuals, better known as “whistleblowers,” are additionally protected by the Whistleblower Act if they report unlawful activity to outside public bodies, such as a government or law enforcement agency. The Whistleblower Act further protects an employee from being retaliated against for refusing to participate in an activity that violates state or federal law. There are many laws that protect employees who report illegal activity. For example, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has its own agency that investigates retaliation by whistleblowers.
Can my employer demote me for complaining about illegal activity if I work in Illinois?
Retaliation may come in many forms, including: voicing anger or attempting to intimidate an employee, suspending an employee after making a report or voicing concern, demoting an employee or subjecting the employee to negative terms of employment, reducing an employee’s pay, wrongfully terminating an employee after complaining. Often an issue that will arise in litigation is whether an employer had a “legitimate” reason for the adverse action. Typically, a factual inquiry into an employee’s work performance history, when the employee made his or her complaint, and when the adverse action by the employer began can help determine whether retaliation is occurring.
If you need a whistleblower lawyer in Illinois, feel free to reach out to us today.