Most jobs place a level of pressure on employees to perform. However, doing your daily duties can become even more stressful if you discover that a colleague, supervisor or even your employer is running afoul of the law.

If you are confronted with such a situation, you may feel torn as to what steps to take. However, if you feel it is important to report the illegal acts, then be aware that you are legally protected from employer retaliation.

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 was written and passed to protect whistleblowers who reported occurrences of corporate fraud. The Act covers the reporting of such things as bank fraud, mail fraud, shareholder fraud and securities fraud. What’s more, even if an investigation reveals that no illegal activity took place, the whistleblower is still protected.

Acts of financial fraud can result in innocent people suffering economic losses. Such acts also undermine the public’s trust in the system. Those who step forward with information halting such fraud should not be penalized for doing what is right.

Unfortunately, sometimes an employer may harbor resentments against a whistleblower. The employer may even attempt to retaliate against the employee by denying him or her opportunities for advancement or even by termination.

If you believe you are the victim of retaliation due to having acted as a whistleblower, it is important to act quickly if you wish to formulate a legal response. In some cases, the statute of limitations for whistleblower protections may last only 30 days.

Reporting your employer for wrongdoing is never easy. You should not face negative consequences for having done the right thing. So if you believe your employer has retaliated against you because of your whistleblowing, an attorney may be able to act on your behalf to protect your rights.