Most workers perform their jobs to the best of their abilities while also abiding by their own codes of ethics. However, an employee’s ethical guidelines may conflict with the practices of an unscrupulous employer. For example, if your employer engages in wrongdoing or corruption, you may feel compelled to report the employer’s conduct as part of a qui tam whistleblower action. If you do, the law prohibits your employer from retaliating against you for reporting the employer, but that doesn’t mean you won’t face retaliation of any sort.
How to recognize retaliation:
When discussing retaliation, most people’s primary concern is that they will lose their jobs. However, retaliation can come in different forms and may be more subtle and less drastic than a termination. That being said, just because you blew the whistle, that doesn’t mean you are protected from being fired or that your employer can’t change the terms and conditions of your employment at all; they just can’t take those actions because you reported the employer’s wrongdoing.
In addition to termination, you should be on the lookout for other shifts in your employment, such as:
- Reassignments: Your success is often tied to your projects’ successes. Keep that in mind if your employer moves you from a successful project to a struggling project.
- Performance reviews:A performance review, more or less, should match your view of your work. Take note if you start receiving unwarranted negative reviews.
- Reductions in pay: Inconvenient reassignments that lead to poor performance may conclude with reductions to your salary.
- Discipline: As difficulties mount, your morale as an employee may suffer. If it is a noticeable morale loss, employers may increasingly consider that grounds for discipline such as demotions and possibly termination.
Any one of these instances could be attributed to workplace vagaries. However, if you experience some or all of them, your company may be gearing up for your removal.
Documentation and self-protection
Keeping detailed documentation of every adverse action taken against you is an excellent plan. If you have a thorough, evidence-supported account of the changes to the terms and conditions of your employment since you blew the whistle, you may be in a better position to take action to protect your career or recover damages from your employer.