How It Protects Employees From Workplace Retaliation
If you work for state or local government or a publicly funded group in Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Whistleblower Law protects you from workplace retaliation if you make a report regarding waste, fraud, or abuse at work.
“Retaliation” refers to any action taken against you for whistleblowing activities. Retaliation is unlawful, but unfortunately it’s also common. Over half of all charges filed with the EEOC against employers are retaliation charges.
Types of retaliation may include:
- Verbal or written threats
- Denial of benefits
- Transfer to a less desirable location or work shift
- Exclusion from meetings, workplace development opportunities, and events
- Verbal or physical abuse
What the Law Says
The Pennsylvania Whistleblower Protection Law states that: “No employer may discharge, threaten or otherwise discriminate or retaliate against an employee regarding the employee’s compensation, terms, conditions, location or privileges of employment because the employee or a person acting on behalf of the employee makes a good faith report or is about to report, verbally or in writing, to the employer or appropriate authority an instance of wrongdoing or waste.”
The law technically applies only to employees of a “public body.” But this has been interpreted to include not only employees of state and local government agencies, but also those who work for any organization that is funded through state or local government.
This means that any organization that receives funding from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania—such as Medicaid reimbursements, highway transportation funding, school funding, and so on—falls under the jurisdiction of this law.
Protected Behavior Under the Law
The Pennsylvania Whistleblower Law provides strong protection against retaliation for employees and those acting on behalf of employees who either report wrongdoing or intend to report it.
It also protects you from retaliation whether you file a report within your organization or to an outside authority. You are not required to first go through internal channels to report within your organization.
Good vs. Bad Faith
The law is designed to protect only those who file reports in good faith. “Good faith” means that the report was not filed out of malice or in the hope that the whistleblower would receive some kind of professional or personal benefit.
You also must have reasonable cause to believe that the wrongdoing you reported was true, even if the employer is later found not to have done anything wrong.
If your report was submitted in bad faith, the law does not prohibit your employer from retaliating against you.
Have You Been Retaliated Against? Talk To a Pennsylvania Employment Lawyer
If you believe your employer has retaliated against you for filing a good-faith report about waste or wrongdoing, you may be entitled to protections under the Pennsylvania Whistleblower Act. You should contact a Pennsylvania employment attorney.
We have helped hundreds of employees hold their employers accountable when action has been taken against them for filing reports in good faith, and we can help you, too. Call us at 267-273-1054 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free, confidential consultation today.
The information provided here does not constitute legal advice. It is intended for general purposes only. If you have questions about a specific legal issue, you should speak to an attorney.