Victims of whistleblower retaliation have to be aware of the deadlines and means for filing proper complaints. Examples of the deadlines involved are as follows:
10 days – The time limit for Arizona State Employees and Ohio public employees;
30 days – The time limit for environmental whistleblowers to make a written complaint to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration [OSHA].
45 days – The time limit for federal employees to file a complaint of discrimination, retaliation or other violations of their civil rights laws with their agency’s equal employment opportunity (EEO) officer.
90 days – The time limit for airline workers and corporate fraud whistleblowers to make their complaint to OSHA.
180 days – The time limit for nuclear whistleblowers and truck drivers to make complaints to OSHA and for victims of retaliation against union organizing and other concerted activities to improve working conditions to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
180 or 300 days – The time limit for private sector employees to make complaints to the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for discrimination claims on the basis of race, gender, age, national origin or religion.
2 to 3 years – The time limit for those who face retaliation for seeking minimum wages or overtime to file a civil lawsuit, depending on whether the court finds the violation was “willful.”
6 years – The time limit for whistleblowers who report a false claim against the federal government, and suffer adverse employment actions as a result to file a civil suit for remedies under the U.S. False Claims Act (FCA). 31 U.S.C. § 3730(h). Under a “qui tam” provision, the “original source” for the report may be entitled to a percentage of what the government recovers from the offenders. However, the “original source” must also be the first to file a federal civil complaint for recovery of the federal funds fraudulently obtained, and must avoid publicizing the claim of fraud until the U.S. Justice Department decides whether to prosecute the claim itself. “Qui tam” lawsuits must be filed under seal to keep the claim from becoming public until the federal government makes its decision on direct prosecution.
Federal employees could benefit from the Whistleblower Protection Act – 5 U.S.C. § 1221(e) and the No Fear Act, which made individual agencies directly responsible for the economic sanctions of unlawful retaliation.
The Military Whistleblower Protection Act (10 U.S.C. § 1034), protects the right of members of the armed services to communicate with any member of Congress, even if copies of the communication are sent to others.
Please consult an attorney and conduct independent research to preserve your rights, determine proper deadlines and file requisite paperwork. Information provided on this website is being supplied solely as an informational tool and does not constitute legal advice.
AMERICAN WHISTLEBLOWERS LEAGUE
NATIONAL WHISTLEBLOWERS CENTER
GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY PROJECT
THE PROJECT ON GOVERNMENT OVERSIGHT
NATIONAL SECURITY WHISTLEBLOWERS COALITION