Whistleblowers have become something of a controversial topic in recent years. For that reason, many workers find themselves afraid to report potentially unethical or illegal conduct for fear of retaliation or losing their jobs. But that still raises the question: What exactly is a whistleblower, and what legal protections do they have in New Hampshire? Allow us to explain.
In New Hampshire, the legal definition for a whistleblower is someone who, in good faith, reports potential unlawful conduct by their employer. Even if the employee doesn’t report the violation, they are also protected if they refuse to engage in conduct that they believe violates the law. Whistleblower protections also apply for employees who assist government agencies (courts and law enforcement) in inquiries or investigations related to the employer.
It is not uncommon for an employee who perceives unlawful conduct to fear reporting their employer. They fear that being a whistleblower could mean being passed up for promotions and raises, being disciplined and yelled at, or even losing their job.
The good news is that the Whistleblowers’ Protection Act makes employees who report their employer a protected class. Employers cannot legally retaliate against or fire employees on the basis that they reported or refused to participate in unlawful conduct.
If you report unlawful conduct and an employer retaliates against you, you can fight back. An employment law attorney on your side can help you arrange a hearing with the commissioner of labor to secure your benefits, back pay, seniority, or even reinstatement of employment.
If you have concerns about employment law, let us help. To schedule a free case consultation with an experienced New Hampshire employment law attorney from Upton & Hatfield, LLP, don’t hesitate to call (603) 716-9777 or send us an email.