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What is illegal retaliation?

In certain situations, federal law forbids employers from retaliating against employees. But what does this mean? It means federal employees can hold their employers accountable when they strike out against employees engaged in protected activities.

One such activity in the federal government is the protection to “blow the whistle” when federal workers see wrongdoing within the workplace.

What are whistleblower protections?

Whistleblowers are those who file a claim against their employer when the employer is violating the law. Federal employers are not allowed to fire, demote or otherwise punish employers who report illegal activities like discrimination, harassment, fraud or public safety violations within the workplace.

Are there other forms of retaliation?

Essentially, a retaliation claim can exist anytime a worker receives negative treatment when engaged in a protected activity.

How common are retaliation claims?

Unfortunately, very common. The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) reports that nine out of ten claims brought to the agency will also include an illegal retaliation claim.

What happens if a federal employee is the victim of retaliation?

Federal employees have options. They can fight back. If successful, a claim against the employer can result in reinstatement to the former position and repayment of lost wages along with other monetary awards.

It is important to note there are instances when an employer’s disciplinary actions against those who are engaged in protected activities is legal. Employers may provide evidence of other, unrelated issues that bring the need for disciplinary actions. As such, it is important to have legal counsel to help defend your interests and better ensure a successful claim.

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