Alabama Whistleblower Laws

Most of us love our jobs and think highly of our employers. But what do we do if we find out our company may have been involved in some shady business practices? Do we report the company misconduct and risk getting fired? Fortunately, the Yellowhammer State has laws in place to help protect employees who come forward about fraud or illegal conduct in the workplace. This is an introduction to “whistleblower” laws in Alabama.

Whistleblower Laws

Nearly every state has some form of "whistleblower" laws, which are statutes that prohibit an employer from retaliating against an employee who reports dangerous, illegal, or otherwise unethical business practices. These laws are designed to shield employees from demotion or firing if they come forward with important information.

Alabama Whistle Blower Statutes

Whistleblower laws in Alabama are highlighted in the table below.

Code Section

Code of Alabama 25-5-11.1: Employee not to be terminated solely for action to recover benefits nor for filing notice of safety rule violation.

 

Code of Alabama 25-8-57: Discrimination prohibited against persons disclosing information, making charges, refusing to obey illegal orders, etc.

Prohibited Employer Activity

Terminating for filing a written notice of violation of safety rule under §25-5-11.1 (c)(4); termination for filing action against employer to recover workers' compensation

Protection for Public or Private Employees?

Both

Opportunity for Employer to Correct?

Yes, employer may not retaliate against employee or individual who tries to remedy violations of child labor chapter. (25-8-57)

Remedies

Can not discharge, discipline, threaten, harass, blacklist, or in any other manner discriminate if employee disclosed information, refused to obey an illegal order, or revealed any violation of this chapter

Penalties

-

 

Code Section

Code of Alabama: 36-26A-1, et. seq.: State Employees Protection

Prohibited Employer Activity

Can not discharge, demote, transfer, or otherwise discipline regarding compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges

Protection for Public or Private Employees?

Public

Opportunity for Employer to Correct?

-

Remedies

Can bring civil action within 2 years of violation; court can award back pay, front pay, and compensatory damages

Penalties

-

Most of Alabama’s whistleblower laws extend only to public employees at the state level. However, there are federal protections that apply to whistleblowers who believe their company has defrauded the government. The federal False Claims Act allows these employees to file what are known as “qui tam actions,” and shields them from employer retaliation. Also, whistleblowers in cases of securities, shareholder, and other kinds of fraud are protected under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.

Alabama Whistleblower Laws: Related Resources

Overlapping state and federal employment laws can make your head spin. You can contact a Alabama whistleblower attorney if you would like legal assistance with a corporate malfeasance or employment matter. You can also visit FindLaw’s Employment Law section for additional articles and information on this topic.

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

Contact a qualified attorney.