In Maine, it is unlawful for an employer to retaliate against an employee because that employee engaged in “protected activity” under the Maine Whistleblowers’ Protection Act (“MWPA”). “Protected activity” is when an employee reports or opposes what they reasonably believe is:
- (i) a violation of law or regulation enacted by the State of Maine, or one of its subdivisions, or a federal law or regulation, including the U.S. Constitution; or
- (ii) a working condition or practice that jeopardizes the health and/or safety of themselves or others.
Retaliation can take many forms. It could be in the form of outright termination from employment, or a demotion to a lower position, or a pay-cut. In some cases, an employer may make an employee’s working environment so hostile or unpleasant that an employee feels as though they have no choice but to quit. Each case is fact-specific, and requires careful analysis to determine whether an employer’s actions are because of an employee’s protected activity.
It is important to know that there is a strict 300-day limitations period under the Maine Whistleblowers’ Protection Act, within which you must file a complaint with the Maine Human Rights Commission. If you feel as though you were retaliated against for reporting illegal or unsafe conditions at work, you should not delay speaking to a lawyer.
Contact the Whistleblower Retaliation lawyers at Clifford & Clifford to discuss your case.