whistleblower

From Deep Throat To What’s Coming Out Of Your Mouth, The Law Protects Whistleblowers

Deep Throat is perhaps the most famous whistleblower in American history. F.B.I. agent Mark Felt took a great personal risk to leak information about the Watergate investigation to reporters and ultimately brought down the Nixon presidency. Few clients of The Rankin Law Firm are whistleblowing at such a high level, but all of our California-based clients can count on us to advise them as they attempt to bring the truth to light, and represent them if they are retaliated against

High Stakes

Becoming a whistleblower is risky. Vanity Fair summarized the risk Deek Throat took to bring the truth about Watergate to light: 

“As the two [Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein] would explain in their 1974 behind-the-scenes book about Watergate, All the President’s Men, Deep Throat lived in solitary dread, under the constant threat of being summarily fired or even indicted, with no colleagues in whom he could confide. He was justifiably suspicious that phones had been wiretapped, rooms bugged, and papers rifled. He was completely isolated, having placed his career and his institution in jeopardy. Eventually, Deep Throat would even warn Woodward and Bernstein that he had reason to believe “everyone’s life is in danger”—meaning Woodward’s, Bernstein’s, and, presumably, his own.”

Whistleblowers The Rankin Law Firm works with face similar risks. They risk isolation. They risk losing their jobs. They risk legal sanctions. They risk retaliation. 

What Is Retaliation? 

Whistleblower retaliation occurs when an employee is fired, disciplined, demoted, harassed, or subjected to a hostile work environment for engaging in protected legal activity, such as: 

  • Reporting — Making a complaint about an alleged legal violation either to an employer or a government agency
  • Filing — Pursuing a claim, lawsuit, or other legal proceedings (e.g. arbitration, EEOC conciliation) against an employer
  • Testifying — Providing written or oral statements in connection with a legal proceeding involving an employer
  • Opposing – Refusing to perform a task or engage in an activity that a person reasonably believes is unlawful

At The Rankin Law Firm, we help employees figure out if the thing they want to do or say is protected, then protect them if they take action to become a whistleblower. 

Protecting Whistleblowers 

It takes a skilled employment law attorney to build a case against an employer who took negative action against a whistleblower. You must have evidence to prove the employee’s whistleblowing was protected, the employer knew the whistleblower’s actions were legally protected, and the employer punished the employee anyway. 

This is not always easy to do because employers get crafty when they want to punish whistleblowers. The Rankin Law firm knows what sort of evidence is needed to prove each of these factors, and how to gather and preserve it. 

The Road To Your Employment Rights Starts Here 

If you have been retaliated against for whistleblowing, and you want to sue for reinstatement, back pay, benefits, or emotional distress, The Rankin Law Firm is here for you. We are experienced California employment lawyers who work hard to protect and defend whistleblowers. 

Unlike Bob Woodward and Deep Throat, you don’t need to resort to cloak and dagger means of communication or plan to meet with us in a darkened parking garage. Simply contact us today via phone or email to schedule an initial consultation.