Virginia Termination After Reporting Illegal Behavior Lawyer
Learning of illegal behavior in your place of work puts you in a tough situation. You may want to report this behavior due to both common sense and a sense of civic duty, but fear of what may happen if you shed light on their illegal activity could be a valid source of hesitation. Fortunately, Virginia law encourages you to take the lead in reporting this behavior by shielding people from any employer retaliation after reporting illegal behavior.
A Virginia termination after reporting illegal behavior lawyer could be dedicated to helping workers who have felt the effects of employer retaliation. By allowing an experienced whistleblowing attorney to examine an obligation to report illegal activities, you may have a better chance to understand how the law protects you and how to enforce your rights in civil court.
Examples of Illegal Behavior Committed by Employers
Businesses are required under Virginia law to adhere to all Commonwealth statutes concerning labor, taxes, and environmental protections. Employers must also comply with federal regulations, tax laws, and labor rules. However, employers often attempt to skirt the rules and engage in:
- Tax evasion
- Wage theft
- Illegal hiring practices
- Illegal waste disposal
- Contraband manufacturing
While it is only necessary to report unlawful behavior in limited circumstances, police, the court, or another investigative body may ask you to participate in an on-going investigation. No matter how you choose to respond to illegal workplace practices, though, the law may protect you and your rights as an employee.
As per Virginia Code §2.2-3011, an employer cannot fire, demote, or otherwise punish any employee who either reports illegal behavior in good faith to the Commonwealth of Virginia or participates in an investigation. Acts of retaliation against you may trigger an investigation against your employer, in which case a dedicated Virginia attorney could help lead a lawsuit based on your termination after reporting illegal behavior.
Protections for Reporting Employees
While most employees are under no obligation to report their employers’ illegal activity, they are protected by Virginia law if they choose to do so. As mentioned previously, it is unlawful for employers to terminate, demote, punish, or harass employees who report illegal behavior or participate in an investigation.
The law also provides a way for employees who faced adverse effects due to reporting illegal activity to hold their employers liable in court. During a privately filed lawsuit, you could claim compensation that may include reinstatement at work, back pay, reinstatement of benefits or seniority, or any combination of these. State law also establishes that plaintiffs could collect court costs and attorneys’ fees after a successful claim.
A termination after reporting illegal behavior lawyer could help you understand your protections under Virginia employment law. This may be the first step to pursuing an at-fault employer for appropriate compensation.
How a Virginia Termination After Reporting Illegal Behavior Attorney Could Help
You should not be forced to participate in illegal activities at the behest of your employers, nor should you feel compelled to hide any illicit or criminal behavior on their behalf to preserve your employment status. As an employee who discovers these activities, you are rarely required to report an incident, but you are protected by Virginia law if you choose to do so.
Any form of employer retaliation after you report illegal activity is prohibited, so any adverse effect you face could be grounds to sue your employer in court. Before you decide how to proceed with such a case, contact a Virginia termination after reporting illegal behavior lawyer to discuss the best way to pursue a favorable resolution.