Whistleblowing in Missouri
Protecting Your Employment Rights in St. Louis: 30+ Years of Experience
You may have heard the term whistleblower thrown around in the workplace but not have known what it really meant in a legal context – and in the context of your rights as an employee. A whistleblower is someone who discloses to an internal department or public agency what they believe to be incriminating evidence that their company is performing dishonest activities in a direct violation of a law or regulation.
If you have reported unlawful practices of your employer, you are protected under federal and state whistleblower laws from retaliation from your employer. The attorneys at Riggan Law Firm, LLC can provide you experienced and professional legal counsel in your case of whistleblowing, especially if you anticipate unlawful retaliation from your employer. You have rights as an employee, and they deserve to be protected; speak with an attorney at Riggan Law Firm, LLC to prepare for legal action.
Whistleblowing Protection Laws
There are multiple federal and Missouri state laws that protect the rights of whistleblowers, some dating back as early as 1863. The False Claims Act, which was revised in 1986, protects the rights of government workers who engage in whistleblowing activities.
The most relevant laws that will come into play are Missouri’s general whistleblowing protection statutes. In addition to federal law, states have laws protecting employees who report the illegal or unethical activities of their employers and prohibit employers from retaliating against whistleblowers by firing them or otherwise punishing them for reporting illegal activities to authorities.
Note that Missouri whistleblower laws protect public employees only, not private employees. Specifically, the law states that a supervisor or "appointing authority" of any state agency may not:
- prevent an employee from discussing the agency's operations with any member of the state legislature, auditor, attorney general, or any other state official charged with investigating misconduct;
- take disciplinary action against a state employee for disclosure of any prohibited activity or information that the employee reasonably believes either: (1) violates the law, or (2) shows mismanagement or abuse of authority; and
- require the employee to give notice to the supervisor before reporting the violation or misdeed to the proper authorities.
Examples of Protected Whistleblowing
Some common examples of whistleblowing activity protected by law include an employee discussing:
- operations of agency with any member of legislature or state auditor,
- any violation of law,
- a rule or regulation,
- a gross waste of public funds,
- an abuse of authority, or
- substantial and specific danger to public health or safety, as long as disclosure is not specifically prohibited by law.
Work with Riggan Law Firm, LLC to Protect Your Rights
If your whistleblowing protection rights have been violated, you can take legal action by filing an administrative appeal. Success of the appeal will result in the modification or reversal of the disciplinary action you’ve experienced and order appropriate relief.
If you seek to move forward with your whistleblowing case, whether to file an appeal against employer retaliation or to take further legal action in court, speak with an attorney at Riggan Law Firm, LLC as soon as possible to discuss your whistleblowing rights and the appropriate next steps. Hiring an attorney will be in your best interests, as good legal representation will be able to show in court "by clear and convincing evidence" that a supervisor or appointing authority violated the Missouri whistleblower law, which can help you collect the damages and attorney fees you deserve.
With legal representation from the firm, you can rest assured that your case will be handled in a competent and efficient manner. The attorneys of Riggan Law Firm, LLC will work hard to aggressively defend your whistleblowing rights and ensure your freedoms are protected in the workplace.
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