The Kentucky Whistleblower Act prohibits retaliation against an employee who reports waste or fraud to appropriate authorities. Although arising in Paterson, New Jersey, the retaliation case of Joan Chisholm illustrates how the law could work. Chisholm, a clerical worker, requested substantiation from her boss for the overtime hours that her boss had claimed. After making the request, Chisholm was reassigned from her payroll duties following an inquiry regarding the overtime that led to her boss's suspension for 90 days. Her boss then tried to fire her. She filed suit for retaliation, which was settled for $97,000.
The Kentucky Whistleblower Act protects "employees who possess knowledge of wrongdoing that is concealed or not publicly known, and who step forward to help uncover and disclose that information." It is supposed to protect "public employees who disclose wrongdoing"and "to discourage wrongdoing in government, and to protect those who make it public." This explanation came from the Kentucky Supreme Court in the case of Workforce Development Cabinet v. Gaines, 276 S.W.3d 789 (Ky. 2008). Despite this explanation, the Court later retreated and ruled that the Kentucky Whistleblower Act does not apply to cities or municipalities, so there is no protection for city employees under the Act.
Lexington, Kentucky whistleblower lawyer Robert Abell represents individuals and employees in whistleblower and retaliation cases; contact him at 859-254-7076.