The law typically protects state employees from retaliation when they report illegal or unsafe activities. These activities include violating the law, endangering the public, abuse of authority at the state or local level or wasting public funds.
The law requires that an employee accurately report any improper activities. The first step is for an employee to report the violations in writing. This can be given to the employee’s supervisor or to the proper governmental agency located through the Equal Rights Division. The employee can then talk about the violations to other individuals or relevant parties that may need to intervene. An attorney, union representative or member of the legislature may be contacted at any time regarding the violations.
The law prevents an employer from retaliating against the whistle-blower that reported the employer. The protection also covers any other employees that might make statements in support of the original report. An employer that reduces an employee’s pay, terminates them or demotes the employee despite otherwise good behavior has participated in retaliation that is prohibited by this law. If retaliation does occur, a complaint must be filed in less than 60 days with the Equal Rights Division of the Department of Workforce Development.
Contacting an attorney is important if a state employee believes they have been retaliated against after acting in a whistle-blower role. When such a case occurs, an attorney may be able to file claims on behalf of their client.
Source: Wisconsin State Legislature, ‘230.80″
Source: Department of Workforce Development, “Protection from Retaliation For Wisconsin Workers – the Whistleblower Law”, September 30, 2014