Retaliation and Whistleblowing

Employers are prohibited from retaliating against employees who engage in certain activities, such as complaining about violations of their rights, participating in legal proceedings against their employers, reporting illegal conduct by their employers, or refusing to perform illegal acts. An employer cannot discipline, fire, or take any other adverse employment action against an employee simply for engaging in one of these activities.

An employee who complains about his or her employer’s illegal conduct is protected from retaliation even if it turns out that the employer’s conduct was not actually illegal, as long as the employee reasonably believed that the employer’s conduct violated the law. Similarly, an employer cannot retaliate against an employee for refusing to perform what the employee reasonably believed to be illegal conduct, even if the conduct was not actually illegal.