Whistleblower Protection

An employee in Ireland filed a lawsuit because he gets paid to eat lunch and read the paper. I’m Amy E. Feldman.


An employee in Ireland filed a lawsuit because he says after he filed a complaint about his employer’s accounting practices, all of his responsibilities were removed, so he’s now paid—a hundred thirty thousand dollars no less—to sit at his desk, eat his lunch and read newspapers.  Anyone else thinking, “I’ll have what he’s having?” Or, “why is that illegal?”

Well, if it were in the US, his claim would be for whistleblower protection—under some laws, an employee can’t face retaliation because he reported issues involving safety, environmental protection, fraud or financial misdeeds. But under US law, he’d have to prove his employer’s actions harmed him.  So an employer can’t retaliate against a whistleblower by firing him or reducing his salary, overtime, or benefits, but if like this guy, you’ve kept the same title and salary, you’re going to have trouble convincing anyone that you’ve been harmed because you’re no longer challenged.

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