The former director of public safety for Social Circle has filed a claim because he believes he was wrongfully fired after reporting violations to city officials. According to a news report on Firehouse.com, the Georgia man reported that local firefighters falsified training records and submitted fraudulent time records. He believes that his contract was not renewed because he reported these concerns. The city has fired back by saying that the former director did not engage in activity that is protected under the Whistleblower Act. It now must be determined if the former director faced wrongful reprisal for reporting his concerns about the alleged violations.
The Georgia Whistleblower Act (O.C.G.A. 45-1-4) was enacted in 1993 to eliminate fraud, abuse, and waste in state programs, and to protect the individuals who report these violations. Under the law, any public employee who acts as a “whistleblower” by reporting a potential violation shall be free from reprisal or discipline from his employer.
It is important to understand what type of employee this law covers and what type of conduct is protected. Under Georgia law, a public employee is anyone who is employed by the “executive, judicial, or legislative branch of the state or by any other department, board, bureau, commission, authority, or other agency of the State Personnel Administration and any local or regional governmental entity that receives any funds from the State of Georgia or any state agency.” Employees included in this description may disclose any potential violation or non-compliance with the law without fear of retaliation.
Any public employee who acts as a whistleblower cannot face retaliation for his or her action. This means that his or her employer cannot fire, suspend, or demote them based solely on their efforts to report wrongdoing.
If you suspect that individuals are violating federal, state, or local law, you can file a confidential complaint with the State Inspector General. If you are let go because you filed a complaint, the Law Offices of Wayne Grant, P.C. can help you fight back. It may be possible to pursue financial compensation for your wrongful termination. Please contact us at (404) 995-3955 to obtain more information about pursuing your legal rights.