However, to obtain protection as a whistleblower, you must satisfy various requirements, including, actual disclosure of the fraud, waste, or abuse to someone in management other than the person engaging in wrongdoing.  If the wrongdoer finds out that you are the person who reported the fraud, waste, or abuse, and subsequently retaliates against you by taking a negative employment action against you, you can file a complaint to either the Department of Labor (for non-governmental employees) or the Office of Special Counsel (for federal employees). 

If you are a non-governmental employee, state and federal laws may protect you as a whistleblower if you report environmental, health, or safety violations, and you then suffer a negative employment action.  

The Whistleblower Protection Act protects federal employees who report fraud, gross waste, gross mismanagement, abuse of authority, or violation of federal law, rule, or violation by a federal agency.  Although your belief of the federal agency’s suspect activity must be reasonable, it does not necessarily need to be an actual violation.  You must report your reasonable belief of wrongdoing to someone in management other than the person initiating the violations such as your agency’s Inspector General.  After you have made your complaint, if the manager finds out about your complaint and takesa negative employment action against you, you can file a complaint with the Office of Special Counsel. 

Gaining protection as a whistleblower requires more than just reporting wrongdoing.  The law requires that a prospective whistleblower satisfy many requirements before deemed a whistleblower.  If you become aware of waste, fraud, or abuse by your employer, it is best to contact Lopez & Wu as soon as possible and obtain advice on how to proceed with your complaint and still gain protection as a whistleblower.


Return to top of Practice Areas