ERIC Number: ED310548
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Jul-20
Review of Legal Guidelines Pertaining to Unjust Dismissals and Whistleblowing in the Public and Private Sectors. A Position Paper.
Spurger, Steven O.
As a result of the large number of employees who feel a sense of duty to report waste and corruption within their firms, 500,000 people each year are unjustly dismissed. This document reviews several positions taken by various courts and illustrates some common ground for employees who have been unjustly dismissed due to their whistleblowing. First, private employers can be held liable for unjust dismissals provided the employee can find a statute that has been violated, or if the employer performs a great deal of governmental work. First Amendment rights are not always guaranteed for nongovernmental employees, but when the public good is jeopardized, the employee stands a better chance of receiving a favorable ruling. Second, the burden of proof for an unjust dismissal lies initially with the dismissed employee. Third, when suing for damages or relief, many statutes require that such action be taken within a prescribed time period. Finally, discrimination need not lead to dismissal for employees to seek redress; however, again the burden of proof is on the employee. Dissidence in the workplace today is more acceptable than in the past; employees feel they are entitled to express themselves freely, and the courts are increasingly agreeing. (18 references) (KM)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Legal/Legislative/Regulatory Materials
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A