Helping Employees Who Want to Speak Up
A whistleblower is an employee who notifies the government or law enforcement if their employer is breaking the law. If an employee complains of an employer’s actions to someone inside the company, this does not qualify as whistleblowing. Whistleblowers are protected by law. If you inform on your company for its illegal actions and are fired or otherwise retaliated against, you can file a claim under the Whistleblower Protection Act (WPA).
Whistleblower Protection Laws
There are various laws on the federal and state levels that protect whistleblowers. The False Claims Act "(FCA)" protects employees who are retaliated against for disclosing fraudulent actions to the government. The Department of Labor administers 15 whistleblower provisions protecting employees who disclose information about violations regarding:
- Workplace safety
Employees who disclose information about securities and banking fraud are also protected by federal laws. Congress has recently enacted whistleblower protections for contract employees and those who work for state and local governments to protect them when disclosing fraudulent spending of stimulus funds.
Common Employer Wrongdoings
Common wrongdoings that an employee can disclose against their
- A violation of law, rule or regulation
- Gross mismanagement
- Gross waste of funds
- An abuse of authority
- A substantial and specific danger to public health or safety
- Many whistleblower-protection laws provide for the following:
- Recovery of back pay
- Pay for future lost wages
- Compensatory damages
- Litigation costs (sometimes including attorney’s fees)
Some whistleblower protection laws, like the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, also provide for reinstatement, even before going to court. Other whistleblower protection laws may compensate for punitive damages.
If you believe you have been the victim of retaliation or termination because you are a whistleblower, contact Dejban Law either electronically or by phone so that we can determine if you have a case and if we can represent you.