Whistleblower termination...

by Rodney
(Memphis, Tennessee)

I was terminated as a performance supervisor for filing a complaint on a fellow supervisor for breaking the zero tolerance policy. He verbally assaulted me with a barrage of curse words for asking a simple question. The incident was witnessed by another supervisor and she told our manager what occurred.

I wrote a report and gave it to my manager to give to Human Resources. I found out my manager and the person I filed on are good friends and the person's wife works in HR. They promised they would investigate my complaint but that never happened, although I had a witness. Also, the supervisor has another similar complaint on file.

HR called me into the office and told me while they investigate I would have to turn my badge in and that I was off work until further notice. I asked HR why I was being punished, I am the victim? HR told me it is company policy (NOT TRUE).

I turned my badge in on 06/19/2015 and on that Monday 06/22/2015 HR called me and told me I was terminated for my attendance. I was dumbfounded. I told HR I have never been written up for anything and company policy states you have to be written up before you are fired. I asked for my termination letter and never received one.

What they did is illegal right? What recourse do I have here? Do I have to get an attorney? Thank you for any direction you can give.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Whistleblower termination...":

Rodney (Memphis, Tennessee):

A Whistleblower is defined as any person, or group of persons, who speak out about possible wrongdoing. The term comes from policeman who at the turn of the 20th Century blew their whistles to alert the public of a impending danger or a crime in progress.

Today, Whistleblowers are generally employees who work for corporations and government agencies. These Whistleblowers are often put under great pressure when considering reporting wrongdoing.

The Illinois Whistleblower Statute can be found under Section 740 ILCS (Whistleblower Act). "Employee" means any individual who is employed on a full-time, part-time, or contractual basis by an employer.

Section 30 addresses "Damages," which may be awarded to a Whistleblower when the employer violates this statute. Pursuant to Section 30 of the same Act...

"If an employer takes any action against an employee in violation of Section 15 or 20, the employee may bring a civil action against the employer for all relief necessary to make the employee whole, including but not limited to the following, as appropriate:

(1) reinstatement with the same seniority status that the employee would have had, but for the violation;

(2) back pay, with interest; and

(3) compensation for any damages sustained as a result of the violation, including litigation costs, expert witness fees, and reasonable attorney's fees."

From the facts you present Rodney, you may have a viable claim against your company for violation of Section 740 ILCS. Because Whistleblower claims (especially against a large company) can be complex and hard-fought, you would be well-advised to seek legal advice.

For more information about Illinois's Whistleblower law see Illoinois.gov

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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