If you see unlawful or unethical conduct as a government employee, the law protects you from retaliation and sometimes rewards you for doing the right thing.
Consider the circumstances below and what rights you have as a whistleblower.
The Georgia Whistleblower Act
The Georgia Whistleblower Act specifically applies to cases involving government employees who blow the whistle on misconduct within the state and local government. According to this act, it is illegal for the government to retaliate against you after you engage in activity to protect yourself.
Fraud, waste and abuse disclosures fall under the protection of the GWA. Fraud includes intentional deception to gain assets. Waste involves the careless expenditure of government funds, and abuse can include the destruction or unnecessary use of government resources.
Types of retaliation claims
According to the GWA, there are two types of retaliation claims:
- An objection claim refers to cases where government employees say they faced retaliation after refusing to participate in activities involving noncompliance with laws and regulations.
- A disclosure claim is when an employee says they faced retaliation after reporting misconduct.
When a whistleblower files a retaliation claim, they must prove that they engage in protected activity that contributed to the government entity’s actions against them. You must also prove that the employer knew of your engagement and provide evidence of retaliation.
How to submit a complaint
You must file your complaint with a supervisor or government agency to fall under the protection of the GWA.
Retaliation is sometimes challenging to prove but often worth the effort.