Virginia Termination Due to Whistleblowing Lawyer
The Commonwealth of Virginia, like many other states, operates on an employment “at-will” model. This generally means that employers are allowed to terminate a worker for almost any reason. However, one major exception to this rule is when an employer fires or otherwise punishes a worker for exposing illegal activity or cooperating with an investigation.
This activity, known as whistleblowing, is protected under Virginia law. While the Commonwealth could criminally prosecute employers who violate this law, state law also creates a cause of action that could justify a lawsuit against your employer for damages in civil court.
A Virginia termination due to whistleblowing lawyer could help protect you from the adverse effects of speaking up. By litigating in court, our experienced wrongful termination attorneys could work with you to pursue your employer for compensation and protect your rights and best interests.
What is Whistleblowing and Why Is It Protected?
Both the Commonwealth of Virginia and the United States have established laws that regulate the business activities of companies and employers. Although there is a great general interest in upholding these laws, state and federal governments sometimes lack the resources to properly investigate and discover all breaches of the law.
Employees who witness illegal activities are encouraged to report and often testify about what they know. This activity is known as “whistleblowing” and can involve everything from reporting wage theft by an employer to letting the EPA know about illegal dumping, to reporting an employer for hiring illegal immigrants.
Any whistleblowing activity is protected under Virginia law. Specifically, Virginia Code §2.2-3011 says that an employer cannot retaliate against those who make a good-faith claim that their employer has violated the law. In addition, the law also states that participating in or cooperating with any state or federal investigation is a protected activity. An experienced attorney could go into further detail about various laws and regulations that prohibit termination due to whistleblowing in Virginia.
Available Remedies After Employment Retaliation
As discussed above, it is illegal for any employer to retaliate against an employee who participates in a whistleblowing activity. Examples of retaliatory actions may include but are not limited to:
- Reduction in wage
- Loss of working hours
- Changing job benefits
Not only could the Commonwealth take a role in prosecuting this activity, but the aggrieved employee could file a lawsuit in civil court demanding relief. According to VA Code §2.2-3011 (D), you may file a civil lawsuit if your termination is related to whistleblowing or reporting illegal activities.
An attorney could help secure reinstatement to your position, back pay for lost wages, and a return of benefits or seniority. A successful claim for termination due to whistleblowing could also lead to financial restitution of attorney’s fees and courts costs.
Generally, lawsuits alleging adverse behavior due to whistleblowing must be filed in court within three years of the date when the retaliation occurs. Working with an experienced termination due to whistleblowing lawyer in Virginia could help you more effectively hold your employer accountable for their illegal actions.
A Virginia Termination Due to Whistleblowing Attorney Could Help Build a Strong Case
Central to employment law in Virginia is the notion that workers should feel safe to report any illegal activity they witness on the job. Not only is reporting illegal behavior an important step to protecting yourself, but state law affirms that an employer cannot fire, punish, or intimidate those who come forward.
If you have faced retaliation at work, a Virginia termination due to whistleblowing lawyer could provide valuable legal assistance. Do not allow an employer to punish you for doing the right thing. Contact us today to discuss your situation and begin building a strong case.