Other states follow California in whistleblower protections

Frank S. Clowney III

It’s no secret that when you bring to light the things that aren’t being done right in a government workplace, or any workplace for that matter, there can be consequences. For some people, doing the right thing has meant putting their jobs on the line. Others have received verbal or written reprimands and even firings have followed honoring the truth. When, or if, you find yourself in similar situations, there are ways to protect yourself and your job.

A few lawmakers in Ohio are making it known that they’re trying to cover all bases to back state employees as much as possible when the employee is willing to report the corruption and immorality occurring in the government workplace. They are aiming to protect employees from retaliation, as well as wrongful termination, when they report such occurrences to the inspector general.

The term known as whistle-blower is not a title many employees would prefer to carry, but some do. And with a heavy heart the cons that follow their decision to report a violation of the law by an employer can mean the difference between continuing to keep a job, or risk putting themselves in a situation where their back is up against the wall. Getting to know your employee rights can make a difference.

Fortunately, California already has protections in place for whistleblowers who are government employees. Under our Whistleblower Protection Act, state officials are not allowed to retaliate against an employee who reports improper governmental behavior. However, just because there are laws in place, does not mean employees won’t feel hesitant about reporting improper or illegal activity.

Sometimes, it may seem easier to turn a blind eye to the wrong you see happening around you in your workplace. Know, however, that there are protections in place to ensure your job security in such situations. If your employer violates those laws, it may be beneficial to speak to an attorney.

Source: The Columbus Dispatch, “2 legislators pitch protection for whistle-blowers,” Randy Ludlow, Jan. 24, 2014