In Indiana, you cannot be fired from a position for refusing to do something illegal. This is called retaliatory discharge. Furthermore, if you report illegal activity to authorities that is taking place within your working environment, you cannot be discharged for addressing the issue.
In recent employment news, a federal lawsuit recently filed against Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC claims that an employee was fired after he reported instances of illegal securities “flipping” by one of the company’s financial managers.
According to reports, the actions of the wealth manager were intended to drive up commissions. Such activities were allegedly intended to deceive investors. Sources say that while the employee was initially praised by supervisors for reporting the incidents, he was later told to stop investigating the issue and other allegedly improper actions. He was eventually fired, which prompted the filing of this wrongful termination suit.
Specifically, he was fired just days following his insistence that the improper trading conduct should be reported to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Ultimately, the complaint alleges multiple violations protecting employees who act as whistle-blowers.
In this lawsuit, the employee is seeking reinstatement in his position with the company, as well as no less than $1 million in damages.
In general, if a violation of the whistle-blower protection law has occurred, the affected worker has the right to petition a court for reinstatement of their position, back wages and benefits, and additional damages appropriate to their particular case. However, this area of law is still evolving, and a successful suit will depend on an ability to gain full understanding of all applicable laws and court procedures.
Source: San Francisco Chronicle, “Ex-Morgan Stanley Risk Officer Sues Bank for Wrongful Firing,” Christie Smythe, Aug. 7, 2012