If you witness wrongful or unlawful activity at your workplace, you have every right to report that activity to your superior — or to the authorities — without fear of negative employment consequences. If your employer decides to retaliate against you for reporting such information, i.e., for being a whistleblower, you might be able to pursue justice and financial restitution by filing a whistleblower retaliation lawsuit in federal court.
One recent example of a successful whistleblower retaliation lawsuit happened in 2015. It relates to a New York hedge fund called Paradigm Capital Management. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a lawsuit against Paradigm claiming that it retaliated against an employee. According to the suit, their employee reported to the SEC that unlawful misconduct was happening at Paradigm. The SEC lawsuit was successful, and this employee received 30 percent of the amount collected by the SEC, which totaled $600,000.
The SEC said that the whistleblowing woman deserved the reward because she suffered hardships as a result of her honesty in reporting the unlawful activity to the SEC. Although she didn’t lose her job because of her whistleblowing, some hardships she endured included the loss of supervisory responsibilities and being marginalized at work. Strangely, she was also made to investigate the wrongful conduct she reported.
If you have suffered job-related retaliation because you blew the whistle on a present or former employer’s unlawful behavior, you may be able to fight back in court. By learning more about your legal options, you can take the most appropriate steps to preserve your federal employment rights.