Whistleblowers and Wrongful Termination Lawsuits: How the Laws Protect Employers

By Dr. John L. Reizer

Editor at NoFakeNews.net

Any person that has ever had the unfortunate experience of taking on a company over a wrongful termination issue knows how frustrating the process can be. If a company has unfairly removed you from your job, the chances of seeing justice served through the U.S. legal system are slim to none.

Even when plaintiffs have an airtight case and a ‘smoking gun,’ so to speak, for evidence, it’s quite difficult to defeat companies over wrongful termination issues in a court of law. Legal expenses alone make it impractical for most individuals to fight for their rights or, in many cases, the rights of others. In addition, the costs involved with assembling a legal team, solely dedicated to fighting an individual’s private cause, are frightening. On the other side of the fence, big corporations usually have ample funds and can easily outlast individual plaintiffs that might be brave enough to launch lawsuits against them.

If, for example, Joe Blow is unfairly terminated from his place of employment because he blew the whistle on company administrators, after observing fellow employees being exposed to dangerous working conditions, he might find it virtually impossible to seek justice for his premature and unfair dismissal in a court of law.

In many states, employees are hired ‘at will’. This means that most employees can be terminated for virtually any reason and without recourse. In a lot of situations, the level of accountability for supervisors and administrators, of a particular company, is next to nothing.

The hardest concept for workers to comprehend is the fact that supervisors can fire them on the spot for any reason whatsoever. The supervisors are aware of how the labor laws protect them from employees during wrongful termination disputes and aren’t afraid to communicate this fact to employees.

The laws of the land, in many instances, are a direct product of earlier legal decisions. The legal decisions handed down, yesterday, through the courts are the legal precedents cited by present day attorneys. If a whistleblower is successful in proving his or her case through a court of law and is fortunate enough not to get the decision overturned in a court of appeals, the case could, potentially, set a legal precedent and be the key component cited in future cases. It is for this reason that the ‘little people’ sometime make the tough decision to go after big corporations that have harmed them. It’s not always about winning a monetary award. Sometimes affected persons believe it’s just the appropriate course of action to take. Thank goodness there are individuals that have the guts and stamina to standup for what’s right. It’s, perhaps, the only way the little guy can ever hope to change unfair and unethical laws.

Many corporations, unfortunately, have the financial resources to protect themselves from lawsuits brought about by former or current employees. In a nutshell, the laws have been designed to protect big corporations. In the past, many judges have ruled in favor of corporate America. Their legal decisions have definitely created precedents that practicing attorneys point to when defending big companies against plaintiffs like Joe Blow.

Even in situations where corporate abuse is blatant, it’s often difficult to get cases into the courts. Companies will go to great lengths in order to protect their public images as well as the images of CEO’s and other executive officers. Image is everything to big corporations and they’ll take extreme measures to protect themselves.

If a particular company cannot intimidate a plaintiff into submission; dismiss the case through a legal technicality, there’s always the old fashion option of settling with the little guy. ‘Hush money’ is an important option used to protect a corporation, as a last resort, from what executive officers view as the most damaging scenario – a court room.

A corporation that is, on the rare occasion, forced into a courtroom setting always loses regardless of the final verdict. In the courts, companies ultimately lose what they value even more than money – a good image. Once in the courts, everything becomes a matter of public record. The emperor, in a sense, is unclothed at this stage of the game, and all the dirty details are permanently released into the public domain.

Enter the settlement phase of a lawsuit, with its accompanying non-disclosure agreement, precluding Joe Blow from ever uttering a word about his case or said company again. You see, once Joe Blow is paid off by the corporation, to keep his lips permanently sealed, the corporation wins. Joe signs a contract in exchange for a monetary settlement that legally prohibits him from ever broaching the subject again. Once Joe signs on the dotted line, there’s no courtroom, no verdict, no legal precedent and most important, no change to the way the courts view corporations, in similar situations, under the law.