There is an epidemic of violations of public safety, fraud, and corruption laws that are directly related to labor law violations in government entities and US corporations. Despite this epidemic – Ethics Commissions, AGs & IGs are unresponsive to labor violation complaints in workplaces and government, even when proof is submitted, tax dollars are misused, and there are rampant ethics, safety, and other compliance violations. The EEOC, OSHA, and State Divisions of Human Rights are underfunded and understaffed, thus their responses to these complaints are almost always delayed and insufficient.
Given that all government employees are required to report legal and ethical noncompliance, mandatory imparital investigations must be implemented without exception and accompanied by absolute prevention of unlawful retaliation against complaining employees. There must be a freeze on any termination of any complaining employee while a sound, impartial, unbiased and thorough investigation is completed, and even afterwards, retaliation against complainants must be prevented.
Violations of EEO, OSHA, public safety, retaliaiton protections, whistleblower protections, ADA, union-protections and fraud/corruption prevention laws must be classified as serious crimes that result in prosecution. There is extremely insufficient protection for employees who use apropriate channels to report noncompliance in both government and corporate workplaces.
Currently, legal compliance with US labor laws is essentially optional for corporate and government workplaces. Only employees who can afford lawyers have a chance of recourse. Most lawyers will not take cases on contingency, even if complaining employees can prove employer noncompliance with labor and other laws. When there is rare justice, it comes years later – often after unlawful termination and great damage to health, families, and finances.
Most legitimate employee complaints are dismissed by noncompliant employers who unlawfully retaliate against these employees, terminate their employment and health coverage and pay them a small sum for which they are desperate and on which they are taxed. This money almost always comes with a gag order, the dismissal of the complaint with government authorities so there is never an investigation, and the continued employment of those guilty of serial noncompliance and other violations of law, which remain unremediated.
Many General Counsel attorneys falsely believe their duty is to protect the corporation by any means instead of ensuring legal compliance and remediating noncompliance according to non-retaliation laws. GCs who knowingly cover up unlawful practices in corporations and government entities must be addressed by the criminal justice system and BAR associations given the enormous financial fraud perpetrated upon taxpayers and shareholders when significant funds are used to unlawfully retaliate against employees who exercise their rights to complain about noncompliance. When this occurs in government entities, it is fraudulent misuse of taxpayer money.
These crimes are epidemic and do require deterrence in the form of large fines, improved processes for complaining employees, and guaranteed sound impartial investigations into unlawful practices, even when there are settlements with complaining employees. Gag orders need to be made unlawful, regardless of settlements with employees.
Every one of us knows someone who has experienced a job from helll, a manager from hell, or a company from hell. Nearly every one of us has also experienced this personally.
What makes workplaces hellish?
Harassment, Discrimination, Retaliation for making legitimate complaints, Safety violations, retaliation for complaining about safety issues, a failure and/or refusal to conduct sound, unbiased investigations of employee complaints, cronyism, nepotism, inconsistent applicaiton of policies, union-busting, ethics violations, fraud, and many other epidemic behaviors that should not happen in U.S. workplaces, but which do happen in epidemic proportions.
We need more and more employees to SPEAK UP and COMPLAIN! There are ways to do this so that you are as protected as you can be. There are no guarantees; you may be retaliated against. You may lose your job. I know this is frightening.
When managers and companies use intimidation and retaliation against employees to keep them too afraid to complain, this is UNLAWFUL RETALIATION. Educate yourself and your co-workers about how to write memos and create the necessary paper trail that is needed to show that you’ve tried to diplomatically, professionally, and clearly address the issues that exist in your company.
The HR Toolkit: An Indispensable Resource for Being a Credible Activist provides you with sample memos to do just this. The more employees who speak up, the less companies will be able to get away with this kind of terrorism.
Speak Up! It is your right to do so. KNOW YOUR RIGHTS. Understand them. Read the book. Learn and share with others. Whether you’re in a union or not, you’ll need the support of others to do the right thing for yourself and for all employees everywhere.
Do not be terrorized and remain silent. Exercise your rights.