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Whistleblowers and statutes of limitations

As a whistleblower, you need to know everything about your case. This includes the statutes of limitations, as this can go a long way in impacting your complaint and how it is received in the legal sense.

Generally speaking, there is a short statute of limitations associated with whistleblower cases. This means one thing: If you have been a victim of retaliation or discrimination in relation to blowing the whistle, you don't have time to wait around and see what happens.

Here is something you need to remember: The statute of limitations typically begins on the day that the person claims he or she was retaliated against. It does not begin when the employee's employment is terminated.

Each state has its own statute of limitations for wrongful termination activity. You need to understand how your state looks at this, and then do whatever possible to work within the timeline. There are also federal whistleblower laws that provide protection. These also have a statute of limitations, which can be as short as 30 days.

Most people realize that being a whistleblower is easier said than done. Unfortunately, some people find that their company was not happy with their decision to do so, which leads to trouble.

If you find yourself in this position, you need to become familiar with all the statutes of limitations, both on the state and federal level. This will ensure that you know your rights, and are able to file a complaint before it is too late. Waiting even one day too long could mean you lose all your legal rights.

Source: National Whistleblowers Center, "Know Your Rights FAQ," accessed Oct. 06, 2015

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