There are many federal and state whistleblower laws. Most, effectively, make it illegal for an employer to fire an employee for whistle blowing on the employer’s illegal conduct. In general, to prove a violation of a whistleblower law, the employee must show that 1) her or she engaged in statutorily-protected conduct; 2) the employer took adverse action against him or her; and (3) there was a causal connection between the protected activity and the adverse action.
Under the laws of most states, whistleblowers are entitled to emotional distress and punitive damages. Now under federal law, specifically the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, any person who “interferes with” the employment or livelihood of an employee for providing any truthful information to legal authorities relating to the commission or possible commission of any federal offense, can be imprisoned for up to 10 years, and pay a fine up to $250,000.