Federal and state whistleblowing laws protect employees from retaliation for reporting violations or potential violations by their employers of a wide variety of laws, not just employment laws. Those laws are often aimed at preventing fraud or other unlawful practices against the government, consumers, and the public. For example, if you report possible fraud against the government, violations of tax laws, securities laws, or safety laws, improper disposal of toxic materials, or discrimination in education, you may be protected under a whistleblower law.
Whistleblower protection laws are important because they protect employees who come forward to stop unlawful practices which may never come to light if an employee does not speak up.
Virginia’s Whistleblower Protection Law provides powerful protections for employees who “blow the whistle” on unlawful practices. This law generally protects you from employer retaliation for reporting in good faith a violation of any federal or state law or regulation to a supervisor or a government agency. The law also protects you from retaliation for refusing your employer’s order to perform an action that would violate any federal or state law or regulation, as long as you inform your employer that is why you are refusing the order. Many federal laws provide similar protection for reporting violations of specific laws or regulations.