||Oracle Tips by Burleson
make it illegal for employers to alter the employment status of an
employee or otherwise discriminate against one who has performed a
legal act on behalf of the employer or others for certain purposes.
For example, if an employee has been subpoenaed by a government agency
to testify against the employer, it is unlawful for the employer to
retaliate against the employee with actions such as reassignments,
demotions, lowering their compensation, terminations, or any other
discriminatory practice that is employment-related.
These whistleblower laws exist at both the Federal
and State levels. Federal whistleblower laws are administered by the
Department of Labor
and complaints are filed either
with the Occupational Safety and Health Administrationor with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commissionin some instances.
The statute of limitations in most cases for
retaliatory claims related to whistle-blowing is six years. Plaintiffs
should be careful though not to delay notification of government
agencies since some Federal laws have statute of limitations as short
as 30 days from the day of the retaliatory action.
Employees who are the victims of retaliatory
may be entitled to reinstatement
in their former job, twice the back pay plus interest, damages due to
discrimination, and attorney costs.
On the other hand, nobody likes a snitch, and many
difficult-to-manage IT programmers may engage in unjustified
whistle-blowing just to make a manager’s life miserable. In these
cases, managers are still free to fire them, but they must be sure the
termination is in response to a clear violation of company policy.
There is more than one way to fire an employee, and managers can be
quite creative in finding ways to eliminate the problem IT
Employees are aware that many managers are lenient
and allow them to get away with behavior that violates company policyin
some way. It does not matter how small the violation is. Employees can
be fired for any violation such as off-color jokes, not locking their
desktop computer when they are away from their cubicle, missing too
many project target dates, swearing in the office and so forth. It is
quite easy to document these actions and send the employee packing.
Besides the Federal and State laws, the courts
also rely on some theories that restrict the firing of at-willemployees
including implied contract, public
policy, and bad faith
The above book excerpt is from:
Firing Computer Professionals
manager Guide for Terminating "With Cause"