Alternatively, a person who has knowledge of fraud and whose conscience is troubled may choose to take action. Depending on the course of action, however, the whistleblower may be exposed to retaliation. Any realistic appraisal of the consequence of blowing the whistle must consider the risk of such an outcome. In weighing whether to bear that risk, the whistleblower should take into account the federal law, discussed within, that is designed to protect whistleblowers and deter retaliation.
• harassment; and
• discrimination affecting terms and conditions of employment.
Id. The employer who retaliates thus only magnifies his woes in light of the significant additional award an employee may secure if subjected to retaliation.
Relief under paragraph (1) shall include reinstatement with the same seniority status that employee, contractor, or agent would have had but for the discrimination, 2 times the amount of back pay, interest on the back pay, and compensation for any special damages sustained as a result of the discrimination, including litigation costs and reasonable attorneys’ fees.