A “whistleblower” is a person who exposes illegal or unethical conduct. The illegal or unethical conduct can occur in many ways, including:
- Violations of company policy.
- Violations of state or federal law or regulations.
- Conduct by the employer that creates a risk to public safety or health.
If you are an employee who becomes aware your company has done something illegal, dishonest or unethical and you complain internally about the wrongdoing, to your supervisor or some other member of management, or you report the wrongdoing to law enforcement or a governmental agency, you have protections. State and federal laws exist to protect whistleblowers from retaliation by their employers. These laws apply to employees who work for private companies as well as employees who work for local, state or the federal government.
Retaliation occurs when an employer mistreats the employee who reports the illegal or unethical conduct. The following are examples of retaliation:
- Fires or terminates the whistleblower.
- Disciplines the whistleblower.
- Cuts the whistleblowers pay.
- Transfers or reassigns the whistleblower to a less favorable job assignment.
The Law Offices of Jason E Taylor is available to protect employees who have been retaliated against because they have blown the whistle on their employer.False Claims Act Cases.
False Claims Act cases are lawsuits filed by whistleblowers to stop fraud against the government. An employee who has knowledge or information that her employer is defrauding or stealing money from the government can file a lawsuit against their employer and recover compensation for the fraud on behalf of the government. The False Claims Act also protects employees from retaliation; employees cannot be fired for challenging the misconduct. Companies who are found guilty of having violated the False Claims Act can be required to pay up to three times what the government lost plus penalties. The whistleblower is entitled to a financial reward, a percentage of the recovery, if the lawsuit is successful.
The following are examples of the industries where the fraud attacked by the False Claims Act occurs:
- Healthcare Industry Fraud
- Banking Industry Fraud
- Government Contractor Fraud
Specific fraudulent acts which can be challenged include
- Doctors, hospitals and nursing homes billing a patient for a service that was never performed and the bill is being paid by Medicaid or Medicare.
- Doctors, hospitals and nursing homes billing a patient for unnecessary procedures and the bill is being paid by Medicaid or Medicare.
- Submitting falsified information to obtain federal loans or grants.
- Overcharging the government for goods or services.
- Knowingly selling the government products that are defective or substandard.
The Law Offices of Jason E Taylor is available to help employees who feel they have information that would support the filing of a False Claims Act case.