When you become aware of something being done unsafely or illegally in your place of work, what is your first instinct? Surely you should report the issue, but what if doing so gets you into trouble with your employer? Work can be hard to come by and as Indiana is an employment-at-will state, it is already all too easy to get fired.
Fortunately, it is illegal for your employer to fire you for reporting problems of this nature. In one such case, the alleged whistleblower was working for Hanford Nuclear Reservation when his concerns came to light. He reported safety issues at a nuclear weapons production site, which is said to be the most polluted in the nation.
He claims that he was fired following this complaint. As such he filed a lawsuit claiming retaliation. The case was initially dismissed, but was later reinstated by a Washington court of appeals. The company denies that the actions were retaliatory and the case is expected to be put to a jury. This jury will need to decide whether URS Energy and Construction failed to act to prevent the dismissal of the plaintiff.
It may have happened in another state, but cases like this one can arise just as easily in Indiana. Unfair treatment of employees is unacceptable and must be challenged. If you believe you have been retaliated against, an attorney can advise you about your options. He or she may also be able to support you in your case and help you pursue justice for the way you have been treated.
Source: The Island Packet, “Court reinstates whistleblower case at nuke site,” Nov. 10, 2014