State laws under the Missouri Human Rights Act and the Whistleblower’s Protection Act work in concert to protect employees from employer retaliation in narrowly tailored situations. Employees are allowed to report crimes and other violations as well as refuse to carry out unlawful orders. But with recent updates to Missouri law, it is crucial to understand the boundaries of protected whistleblower behavior.
HKM Employment Attorneys LLP in St. Louis, Missouri, employs verified strategies to protect whistleblowers and other employees from employer retaliation. To do so effectively, HKM Employment Attorneys features both national reach and local touch, with experience representing employees against companies large and small. If you filed a whistleblower claim and suffered employer retaliation, please do not hesitate to contact us immediately for legal assistance.
Navigating the Complexities of the Whistleblower’s Protection Act
The Whistleblower’s Protection Act (WPA) serves as the sole and exclusive remedy for employees who report violations in Missouri. If the employer engages in retaliatory conduct, then the whistleblower must proceed according to the WPA.
In terms of eligibility, the WPA only applies to a “protected person.” A protected person is someone who reports their employer’s illegal activity or serious wrongdoing. This person must submit their report to the “proper authorities,” which include government officials, law enforcement officers and the employer’s human resources agents. A protected person is also someone who refuses to obey their employer’s orders, if doing so would result in illegal activity or serious wrongdoing.
Overall, the WPA employs strict limits on the protections available to whistleblowers. Consequently, it is vital to tread carefully when considering a whistleblower claim. To help situate the law and the facts of your case, it can be prudent to seek legal help from a proficient Missouri retaliation counselor.
Securing Damage Awards in Missouri Whistleblowing Cases
In terms of whistleblowing, Missouri law only applies to certain types of employers and specific categories of damages.
The WPA applies to all public organizations, including state government, law enforcement and other official bodies. State whistleblower protections also apply to some religious and sectarian organizations. In terms of private companies, the WPA only addresses entities with at least six employees. Corporate entities with five or fewer employees are exempt from WPA protections.
If an employer engages in retaliatory conduct, then the whistleblower can file a civil lawsuit for damages. Generally speaking, a whistleblower can only seek damages related to backpay. If the whistleblower can demonstrate “outrageous conduct” by the employer, liquidated damages may be available. Furthermore, the court can add attorney’s fees and legal costs to the award of damages.
Arrange to Meet with a Missouri Retaliation Lawyer Today
If you or a loved one submitted a whistleblower claim and experienced employer retaliation in Missouri, know that you can contact HKM Employment Attorneys for legal assistance. A powerful firm with the ability to fight back against any size of employer, HKM Employment Attorneys will advocate diligently in your interest. If you require legal counsel, please feel free to contact us immediately for assistance.