Retaliation and Whistleblower Protections

The Des Moines Law firm of Newkirk Zwagerman is dedicated to protecting the rights of workers. Our team of experienced attorneys is well-versed in state and federal laws that protect employees against retaliatory actions by their employers for engaging in legally protected actions.

Retaliation is simply an employer’s decision to punish an employee for engaging in protected activities that the employer dislikes. Workplace retaliation is a very common form of discrimination because it results from an employee complaining about violations of the law that trigger the duty of an employer to investigate or remedy those violations.

It is very important for an employee who decides to challenge illegal behavior to seek legal counsel before doing so, or in the event retaliation has already begun, seek counsel before the employer fires the employee who complained.

Employment laws prohibit employers from retaliating against employees who make complaints of workplace discrimination and/or workplace harassment, either on behalf of themselves or other employees.

What if I have reported illegal activities or exercised my rights?

Under worker protection laws, employers may not retaliate against employees who engage in an activity to which the employees have a right.  Additionally, laws such as the Whistleblower Protection Act guards employees against adverse actions by their employers for reporting illegal activities ( “whistleblowing”).

Examples of retaliation and wrongful termination causes may include:

  • Filing a workers’ compensation claim or a claim for unemployment benefits
  • Providing truthful testimony in court or in a deposition
  • Reporting child or adult abuse as a mandatory reporter
  • Reporting care center deficiencies to the Department of Inspections and Appeals
  • Serving jury duty
  • Reporting an employer to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
  • Reporting safety violations to OSHA
  • Complaining to the Department of Labor for an employer’s failure to pay minimum wage or overtime
  • Complying with a subpoena
  • Serving in the military, including National Guard duty
  • Refusing to violate regulations from the Iowa Administrative Code
  • Voting in an election
  • Refusing to violate the law

The above list includes examples of wrongful termination and retaliation causes and does not include all situations in which an employer may be responsible for preventing retaliation. Employer retaliation claims can result in a variety of damages including lost wages, emotional distress, punitive damages, and attorney fees.

Newkirk Zwagerman is the leading Iowa law firm for protecting the rights of workers against employer retaliation and wrongful termination. From the initial consultation to resolution, our law firm’s goal is to provide legal services geared towards achieving the best possible outcome for each client.

All information on our website is meant to be generally informative. If you feel you have suffered employer harassment or retaliation, you may have a case. Newkirk Zwagerman suggests that you seek legal advice from an employment or discrimination attorney of your choice.

All information on our website is meant to be generally informative. To find out whether you may have a case, you should consult an employment or discrimination attorney of your choice.

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