Did you recently get fired because you reported illegal behavior at your workplace? Both federal and Ohio laws prohibit employers from terminating employees who assert their workplace rights. If you are in this situation, you likely have a lot of questions.
Should you file a whistleblower claim? If so, what are your next steps? Do you file a lawsuit first or submit a complaint to a government agency? Below are the answers to these frequently asked questions about employer retaliation for whistleblowing.
1. Talk to a lawyer
Whistleblowing claims are complicated and must be dealt with carefully. A lawyer can let you know if you should move forward with a claim. Before your meeting, create a timeline of events underlying your report. Document when you reported your complaint, when you were fired and any and all related details.
2. File a charge
Certain retaliation claims require you to file a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. For example, if your complaint was about discrimination or harassment, you must file a charge with the EEOC first.
You may also want to file an administrative claim before going through the court. Your lawyer can assist you in figuring out the requirements for your claim and how to proceed.
3. Document monetary damages
At this point, you should collect bank statements, paystubs or other payment documents to begin calculating the wages and benefits you have lost from wrongful termination. You will also want to document any out-of-pocket expenses related to looking for a new job.
Getting fired for whistleblowing is a discouraging and stressful process. If you witnessed illegal behavior and you reported it correctly, you might have a basis for a lawsuit against your employer. The most important thing for you to do if you suspect wrongful termination is to speak with an employment law lawyer.