You have a strong work history and have always done your best to be a good employee. Unfortunately, your job has recently become more difficult for you. Perhaps you discovered that the company has violated the law, or maybe you started experiencing harassment from co-workers or discrimination from your boss.
When you know that something inappropriate has occurred at work, speaking up may be the only appropriate response. You should be able to report mistreatment, misconduct or illegal activities without fearing repercussions. Unfortunately, some companies will fire workers who report serious workplace issues.
You have a right to report harassment or discrimination
Federal law prohibits discrimination, including workplace harassment, based on protected characteristics like sex, race and religion. Most companies have zero-tolerance policies about discrimination and harassment, but not all of them enforce these policies the way that they should.
Some companies will retaliate against workers who report mistreatment instead of punishing the employees who are engaging in misconduct. Firing a worker for reporting misconduct typically constitutes retaliation, which makes it a wrongful termination.
You can speak up about illegal activity, too
When you realize that a co-worker or the company itself engages in practices that break the law, not reporting it could make you an accessory to that criminal activity.
Whether you report it directly to a government agency or to the company, you should receive protection as a whistleblower. As with speaking up about discrimination or abuse on the job, you should not face termination or other punishment for reporting wrongdoing.
Companies that fire workers for speaking up wrongfully terminate them. Understanding your rights can help you fight back after unfair retaliation and a wrongful termination.