What would you do if you were faced with this dilemma: you enjoy your job and need it to support yourself or your family, but you know that your employer is willfully breaking the law? Would you have the courage to stand up to your superiors if you knew they were doing something legally or even morally wrong, even if it means you could face retaliation? Yes, the state and federal government does provide whistleblower protection to individuals who speak out against their employer, but it’s not always that black and white.
Take, for example, the case of an Indiana woman who recently alleged she was fired for questioning her employer’s policies about hiring illegal immigrants. It first came to her attention when she dismissed an employee who’d given false documentation. The employee explained that he had worked at the plant before under a different name. Suspecting her company was hiring illegal workers, the woman launched an investigation and claims she uncovered widespread disregard for federal law.
When she voiced her concerns to her superiors, she says they told her to ignore it and just take whatever documentation the workers gave her. She refused and was fired shortly thereafter for allegedly not being a “team player.” She filed a lawsuit against the company in May and is seeking $500,000 in punitive damages and another $1.5 million for compensatory damages and economic loss.
If you suspect the company you’re working for is in violation of the law, or you’ve been asked to do something you know is wrong, you don’t have to be afraid of retaliation. An Indiana attorney who works in employment law can listen to your story and help you through the process.
Source: elkharttruth.com, “Former HR manager says she was fired for refusing to hire illegal immigrants,” Jeff Parrott, May 20, 2014