Q: I'm experiencing retaliation at work for reporting my boss for authorizing unethical transactions that are noncompliant with policy. I work for a state and local government agency and I have reported her to HR, the Ethics Committee, and the OIG and no action has taken place. Since internal sources aren't responsive, where can I go for help?
A: Unfortunately, it sounds as if you have exhausted your options within the city government itself, and it may be necessary to look to private legal action. Although I know this can be expensive, often attorneys are willing to give a free consultation to review the facts of a case, and even take a case on contingency (meaning that they will only take a fee if the client wins money).
City employees have "whistleblower" protection when reporting fraud, waste, or abuse by a city official/employee, and if they are retaliated against because of reporting fraud, waste, or abuse, then the city may be liable for those actions. Things like gross mismanagement, waste of public funds, or abuse of authority are all issues that may be reported, and if retaliation occurs, then the whistleblower rules should apply.
For ideas on next steps, try visiting www.whistleblowers.org
I would strongly encourage you to sit down with an attorney in person. As I said above, often attorneys will, at the very least, provide a consultation to help determine if it's worth bringing a suit.
- Answer from A.J., an Employment Lawyer on JustAnswer