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Whistleblower Claims: Litigating Wrongful Termination and Retaliation, Violations of Public Policy

Recent Cases in Ohio, California, and DC

Recording of a 90-minute CLE video webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Recorded event now available

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This CLE webinar will provide employment counsel with an overview of recent decisions brought in wrongful termination and retaliation claims by former employees in Ohio, California, and in various agency actions in Washington, D.C. The panel will discuss the groundbreaking Ohio Court of Appeals' case that allowed a whistleblower employee to succeed on the grounds of violation of public policy. The panel will guide counsel in developing effective policies and procedures to minimize the risk of OSHA or DOL charges and potential private retaliation litigation and crafting litigation strategies that will increase the likelihood of success when defending against retaliation claims.


Whistleblowers are vital to the ethical and moral compass of big companies and other employers. However, whistleblowers often pay a high price for their commitment to the greater good. They put themselves at risk of retaliation through discrimination, outright termination, or a hostile work environment.

Breaking new legal ground, Ohio's Tenth District Court of Appeals recently held that an individual could sue his former employer for wrongful discharge after being fired for complaining about the company's failure to pay prevailing wages on a construction project. Ohio's prevailing wage law requires contractors and subcontractors on public improvements to pay their employees the proper prevailing wage rate.

Employees who report illegal, unsafe, or unethical conditions at the workplace are protected under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the Consumer Financial Protection Act, which provides strong whistleblower protections. OSHA handles the whistleblower provisions outlined in several different federal laws. In addition, many state laws protect whistleblowers from retaliation, such as the California Whistleblower Protection Act, which applies to both public and private employees.

Many recent decisions in California, Ohio, and claims filed with OSHA and the DOL have provided guidance on protections available to whistleblowers and how employers should revisit and revise their policies to comply with OSHA and DOL regulations.

Listen as our expert panel discusses these recent decisions and what best practices employment attorneys can utilize to advise their clients on compliance and claims for whistleblowers and employers.



  1. Department of Labor regulations
    1. Sarbanes-Oxley Act
    2. Whistleblower protections at the state level
  2. Recent cases
    1. Ohio
    2. California
    3. OSHA cases
    4. DOL cases


The panel will address these and other relevant topics:

  • What does the Ohio case on violations of public policy teach regarding wrongful termination claims?
  • What do the California whistleblower cases advise on the definition of protected activity?
  • How is Sarbanes-Oxley being enforced under the Biden administration?


Harrison, Ashley
Ashley N. Harrison

Shook Hardy & Bacon

Ms. Harrison’s practice focuses on representing businesses nationally in commercial disputes and employment...  |  Read More

Martucci, William
William C. Martucci

Partner; Chair, National Employment Litigation & Policy Practice Group
Shook Hardy & Bacon

Mr. Martucci practices nationally in business and employment litigation, with a focus on complex class action...  |  Read More

Turner, Sarah
Sarah N. Turner

Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani

Ms. Turner's litigation experience includes defending employers in wrongful discharge, discrimination, harassment,...  |  Read More

Saint-Clair, Ivelisse
Ivelisse Lucia Saint-Clair

Shook Hardy & Bacon

Ms. Saint-Clair brings her considerable business education to her business litigation practice. She earned a...  |  Read More

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