Maryland Whistleblower Laws

For those of us who love our jobs, we tend to think the best of our employers and think they’re acting ethically, responsibly, and especially legally. But what happens if we find out our company may have been involved in some less-than-honorable business practices?

It can be a tough spot for an employee to find themselves in: do we report on company misconduct and risk getting fired? Luckily, there are laws in place to help protect employees who want to report fraud or illegal conduct in the workplace. This is a brief summary of “whistleblower” laws in Maryland.

Whistleblower Laws

Just about every state has some regulations that prohibit an employer from retaliating against an employee who reports illegal, dangerous, or otherwise unethical business practices. These are known as "whistleblower" laws, and are designed to shield employees from demotion or firing if they come forward with important information. Under Maryland’s whistleblower laws only protect public employees from retaliation.

Maryland Whistleblower Statutes

Some of Maryland's whistleblower laws are highlighted in the following table.

Code Section

SPP 5-301, et seq.

Prohibited Employer Activity

Cannot take or refuse to take any personnel action as reprisal if applicant or employee discloses abuse of authority, gross mismanagement or waste of money, violation of law or substantial and specific danger to public health or safety and seeks a remedy

Protection for Public or Private Employees?

Public

Opportunity for Employer to Correct?

-

Remedies

Can submit a complaint to the secretary within 6 months of first knowledge of violation; if violation found, secretary can remove detrimental information from complainant's personnel record, reinstatement, promotion or end of suspension, back pay, leave or seniority and attorney's and court fees

Penalties

-

While Maryland’s whistleblower laws are limited to public employees at the state level, the federal government has protections that apply to whistleblowers who believe their company has defrauded the government. These employees are allowed to file what are known as “qui tam actions,” and are defended from employer retaliation by the federal False Claims Act. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 also protects whistleblowers in cases of securities, shareholder, and other kinds of fraud.

Maryland Whistleblower Laws: Related Resources

Navigating state and federal employment law can be a complex and confusing process. If you would like legal assistance with a corporate malfeasance or employment case, you can contact a Maryland whistleblower attorney. You can also visit FindLaw’s Employment Law section for more articles and resources on this topic.

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

Contact a qualified attorney.