Whistleblower employees of publicly traded companies in Wisconsin and across the nation are protected from retaliation when they bring forward suspected illegal or unethical action. In 2013, an employee of Paramount Pictures highlighted concerns about an executive who was over-charging the company for travel expense reimbursements.
The worker claimed that she had evidence that the studio’s executive vice president of industrial relations, her boss, had a history and pattern of submitting fraudulent expenses for reimbursement following travel on behalf of the union health plans and pension. After the worker raised the concern, she was offered a position that she did not want. She was also given the option to accept a severance package.
In a complaint filed with the U.S. Department of Labor, the employee cited emails in which the company planned to intimidate her into quitting. At a meeting with a human resource official of the company, the worker says she was yelled at and threatened. After accepting the Paramount job that she was offered but did not want, her health deteriorated, and she had to take a medical leave.
Not every situation of intimidation of a whistleblower has emails to support the worker’s claim. A person who believes that he or she is facing harassment, discrimination or intimidation following the revelation of inappropriate action by a company may want to seek input from an attorney. Documented evidence may not be a requirement for a diligent employee to move forward with a case against a company and persons seeking retaliation. An attorney may help a worker understand actions that can be taken if the employee believes that the work environment has become stressful and unhealthy.
Source: Deadline, “Paramount Whistleblower: Emails Reveal Studio Officials Tried To ‘Freak Her Out,’” David Robb, March 30, 2015