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Senator alleges whistleblower retaliation

Some New Jersey employees may be aware that whistleblowers in the workplace are supposed to be protected against retaliation. On April 27, Sen. Chuck Grassley said that there had been coverups in investigations into retaliation against whistleblowers in the Defense Department. Grassley focused his criticisms on the Office of Inspector General.

The senator was speaking in relation to a case involving Rear Admiral Brian Losey, who had been found guilty of retaliating against whistleblowers. Following the revelation of the charges, Losey was also forced to retire. Nevertheless, Grassley said there had been an effort to cover for Losey and that it had not been an isolated incident. He claimed there were at least five additional similar cases if not more.

The senator also said the Defense Department's whistleblower hotline had been ignored. Allegedly, cases called in were set aside and neglected. According to Grassley, the official in charge of the hotline was responsible. The same official had told Losey that he was not an investigative target when this was untrue. Grassley called for an investigation by the Office of Special Counsel.

Employees have a right to speak up about illegal practices they observe in their workplace, and a whistleblower should be protected from retaliation. An employee who needs to share information that could be considered whistleblowing might want to speak to an attorney about employee rights and how to protect themselves. For example, they may want to document instances of good performance reviews in case an employer tries to fire them and blame poor performance. If the employee does face retaliation, an attorney may be able to assist in filing a lawsuit against the company. Retaliation may also include being demoted or denied a promotion, facing a hostile work environment and other acts.

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