Lisa Lee is probably never going to be a household name. Like many whistleblowers, she did nothing more than trust herself when deciding to go against her employer’s wishes. In her case, the employer was a big one—the Fort Collins Veteran’s Administration clinic.
Ms. Lee was a scheduler at the VA. Like many organizations, the agency has internal rules and regulations regarding scheduling appointments, and has goals for appropriate wait times for scheduling. When her superiors told her to rig the process to make it seem like the agency was meeting its targets, she pushed back, fighting against instructions she knew would harm patients who desperately needed help and treatment.
The VA punished Ms. Lee for her behavior by putting her on unpaid leave, then moving her job to a farther location, which resulted in a pay cut. She filed an internal grievous, which was denied. Since she was placed in a position where she was punished for trying to follow the law, she had to take her fight outside her agency. She reported the behavior to a government oversight organization.
Blowing the Whistle
As an employee, it can be hard to know what to do when an internal policy or procedure is routinely violated in the workplace. Violations of some internal workplace policies may not cause you to break the law. However, if you feel your employer’s requests are immoral or illegal, you should consider taking action.
More than just a program protecting government workers, the Whistleblower Protection Program protects employees in a variety of industries. It protects workers who report violations of safety or other regulations from adverse actions by their employer. The law prevents employers from reducing hours, pay, or otherwise disciplining employees who engage in protected activity.
If you live in the greater New York area and think your employer may be asking you to do something illegal or immoral, you should seek the advice of experienced whistleblowing lawyers in New Jersey and New York. It can be difficult to determine exactly what activities are protected, and how to protect your job and your rights.
The Law Offices of John J. Zidziunas & Associates has a reputation for excellence, and has extensive experience in a variety of employment discrimination cases. For further information, please feel free to call us at 973-509-8500, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit our webpage at employmentdiscrimination.com.