Indiana Whistleblower Laws

Finding out that your company might have engaged in some shady business behavior can put you in a pretty awkward position. It could be that you love your company, but disapprove of its actions. Or maybe it’s just one bad apple spoiling the entire corporate bunch. And regardless of your perspective, there remains the worry that reporting on company misconduct could get you fired. But don’t worry -- the Hoosier State has some laws in place to protect employees that report fraud or illegal conduct in the workplace. This is a brief summary of “whistleblower” laws in Indiana.

Whistleblower Laws

Nearly every state has some laws that prohibit employer retaliation (including demotion or termination) against employees who report illegal, dangerous, or otherwise unethical acts. These are commonly referred to as "whistleblower" laws and are designed to protect employees who otherwise might be too scared to step forward with important information. Indiana whistleblower laws extend protections to both public and private employees.

Indiana Whistle Blower Statutes

The following table highlights the key elements of Indiana's whistleblower laws.

Code Section

4-15-10-4 & 36-1-8-8 (public); 22-5-3-3 (private)

Prohibited Employer Activity

Can not dismiss, withhold salary increases or employment-related benefits, transfer or reassign, deny promotion or demote if employee reports violation of federal law or regulation, state law or rule, violates ordinance of a political subdivision or misuse of public funds

Protection for Public or Private Employees?

Both

Opportunity for Employer to Correct?

-

Remedies

Report to supervisor or appointing authority or state ethics commission if supervisor or appointing authority involved with violation. If no good faith effort made by reportee, submit a written report to any concerned person, agency, or organization; can also seek a legal remedy

Penalties

Class A infraction

Along with state laws covering employees who divulge consumer fraud, there are also federal protections for whistleblowers who believe their company has defrauded the government. These cases are referred to as “qui tam actions,” and the federal False Claims Act prohibits employers from taking any action against employees for filing a claim of fraud on the government. In this context, "any action" means demoting, suspending, terminating, or "in any other manner discriminat[ing] against [the employee] in the terms and conditions of employment." In addition, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 shields whistleblowers in cases of securities, shareholder, and other kinds of fraud from employer retribution.

Indiana Whistleblower Laws: Related Resources

State employment laws are constantly changing. If you would like legal assistance concerning employer malfeasance, you can contact an Indiana whistleblower attorney in your area. You can also continue your own legal research by visiting FindLaw’s Employment Law section for more introductory articles and resources on this topic.

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

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