Equality and Anti-Discrimination Lawyers

Whistleblowing and Victimisation/ Retaliation

Whistleblowing is the act of reporting, or supporting someone who reports, illegal conduct by your employer. This can include illegal discrimination or harassment, or other forms of illegal conduct like violating securities or environmental laws. Our firm supports employees making internal whistleblowing complaints. We also can help if a whistleblowing employee gets retaliated against, in both the US and the UK. 

Victimisation in the UK 

Victimisation at work occurs when an employer subjects you to detriment because you have brought proceedings for, given evidence of, or made allegations of discrimination or harassment. Under the Equality Act 2010, it is illegal for employers to take action against employees for reporting conduct that violates the Act. 

Of course, employers do not announce to you that they are subjecting you to a detriment in retaliation for your complaining about discrimination; they try to make it seem a normal work-related issue. We have had clients who have been suddenly made redundant after making a discrimination complaint, but often the victimisation is more subtle. We have achieved good results for clients who have had the misfortune of being punished for standing up for the legal rights of themselves or someone else.   

Retaliation in the US 

Retaliation is where an employer subjects you to detrimental treatment because you have brought forward a complaint of harassment or discrimination, or have supported a co-worker with their complaint. This can be either in a formal procedure (an HR investigation, ethics investigation, EEOC investigation, etc.) or through informal reporting to management.   

Retaliation for reporting employment discrimination is prohibited under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and is enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).   

Other federal and state laws prohibit retaliation against employees who make complaints about other kinds of employer misconduct, including securities fraud, cheating on government contracts, putting patients in danger, and environmental violations. If you are fired or otherwise punished in retaliation for bringing illegal conduct to light, you can get your job reinstated and/or win damages. Also, the government itself will sometimes pay substantial awards to people who report violations of these laws.   

Our work

Our lawyers have represented people who have been punished for complaining about discrimination and other forms of illegal conduct both in the US and UK. Employers are often hostile to people who report discrimination or other misconduct, so if you are considering doing this, you should seek legal advice as soon as possible, preferably before acting. 

I will always be grateful for your unwavering support of me. Equally, I will always be grateful for showing me how to find my voice and strength.

Title IX case against UCLA, client confidential

It was such a weight off our shoulders; suddenly somebody else with a lot more experience was managing the case.

Sandeep Mander, Mander v. Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead

We really thought that there was nothing that anybody could do for us. We were wrong.

Dr Celeste Kidd, Aslin et al v. University of Rochester et al

To get the result you got you must be as tough with your legal opposites as you are kind and understanding to your clients.

AOA client, confidential

Compared with other law firms I’ve worked with, no one matches the combination that McO has of experience, brilliance, ferocious fighting and deep empathy for their clients.

Dr Holly Atkinson, Atkinson et al v. Mount Sinai Health System, Inc. et al

Because my case could not bear public scrutiny, a very powerful institution used massive financial resources to try to crush me for asking for my disability rights. This was a huge mistake, as they didn’t know that I would obtain McO representation. I couldn’t ask for better representation.

Disability Rights client, confidential

I would like to say from bottom of my heart, thank you. Thank you to all the team. Now I can go and forget my former employer. God bless you all.

Unfair Dismissal client, confidential