Whistleblower and Qui Tam Lawyer
Protecting Whistleblowers from Retaliation for Over 25 Years
Whistleblowers are essential to company culture. They help keep employers honest by reporting illegal behavior to the right people. Without whistleblower protection laws, employees would be too afraid of retaliation to come forward and report the illegal and unethical activity.
Whistleblowers can report concerns concerning financial firms, government employers, or any other institution misusing government funding and committing other illegal activities. Whistleblower protections offer protection against retaliation, wrongful termination, and other negative employment actions for those who chose to exercise their duty to report illegal activities.
What Is a Whistleblower?
A whistleblower is an employee who speaks up and reports an employer’s or supervisor’s involvement in illegal activities. Speaking up can be done through the following actions:
- Reporting the activities to the proper authorities
- Testifying against the employer or supervisor in court
- Refusal to take part in illegal activities.
When dealing with the SEC, an “eligible whistleblower” is a person who voluntarily provides the SEC with original information about a probable violation of the federal securities laws that has either occurred, is ongoing, or is about to occur. Such original information provided by the SEC whistleblower must then result in a successful SEC action resulting in an order of monetary sanctions exceeding $1 million.
One or several individuals in a group are allowed to act as an SEC whistleblower. However, organizations or companies do not qualify. Additionally, it is not a prerequisite that the SEC whistleblower is an employee of the company to submit information about its probable violation. As a whistleblower, you can remain anonymous throughout the SEC investigation.
What Is the False Claims Act?
Employers can bring claims against private companies, on behalf of the federal government, via the False Claims Act. The False Claims Act, also known as “Lincoln’s Law,” was established in the wake of massive fraud committed against the federal government in the post-Civil War reconstruction era.
The False Claims Act is used to file claims against a person or company that defrauds federal government programs. Defendants in False Claim Act cases can be government contractors or anyone that uses government funding for any type of services.
What Are Examples of Claims Under the False Claims Act?
False Claim Act claims are specific to defrauding federal government programs. Some examples of this type of fraud may include, but are not limited to:
- A doctor submitting false Medicare claims for payment
- A government contractor billing for his family golf outing
- Conducting testing as part of the job and providing the false test result
- Not conducting the tests as billed.
- Cutting costs by providing faulty products
- Accepting kickbacks from hospitals, labs, and pharmaceutical companies by prescribing unnecessary medications and billing Medicare or Medicaid for the costs
- Charging multiple times for digging the same hole
What Is a Qui Tam Action?
In recent years, the Federal Government has fallen victim to billions of dollars in fraud. The fraud is typically seen in areas involving the healthcare industry, the financial industry, the pharmaceutical industry, environmental regulations, grant recipients, nonrenewable resources (such as oil, gas, and mining), and insistences involving military government contractors. To rectify this fraud, individuals with information pertaining to fraud may bring “Qui Tam” actions against private companies committing such frauds.
“Qui Tam” is short for, “qui tam pro domino rege quam pro se ipso in hac parte sequitur.” The phrase means, “[he] who sues in this matter for the king as well as for himself.” When Qui Tam plaintiffs bring a “Qui Tam” claim, they bring a claim on behalf of the Federal Government. In turn, they are correcting a wrong occurring against the federal government.
Qui Tam whistleblowers receive a reward for their actions. Typically, a Qui Tam whistleblower receives between 15% and 25% of the amount recovered. This reward can be substantial.
What Is an SEC/CFTC Whistleblower?
Sometimes whistleblowing is directly related to violation of the Securities Exchange Commission, CFTC, and other financial frauds.
An SEC whistleblower can help put an end to a string of financial frauds. The whistleblower helps the SEC limit any harm to investors.
In exchange for their heroism, the SEC has the right to provide whistleblowers with an award. Individuals who bring forth high-quality information that led to over $1,000,000 in sanctions may receive a reward between 10% and 30% of the money collected.
What Federal Laws Protect Whistleblowers from Retaliation in the Workplace?
The Whistleblower Protection Act protects federal employees from retaliation when they report illegal actions that violate laws, rules, and regulations or show a waste of funds and abuse of power. The law ensures a whistleblower can remain anonymous and keep his or her job without the fear of retaliation.
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act protects employees in the financial sector. Employees can:
- Report an employer to the SEC.
- Aid in an SEC investigation
- Testify against an employer in an SEC hearing.
The Dodd-Frank Act can also be used like the Sarbanes Oxley Act. It protects employees in the financial sector from:
- Retaliation from blowing the whistle on their employer
- Testifying against the employer
- Aiding in the SEC investigation against the employer
The IRS Whistleblower Law is a specific False Claims Act claim for tax fraud. Under this law, the Whistleblower can report fraud in excess of $2,000,000. A violation of the IRS whistleblower law will cost the employer treble damages.
What Can a Whistleblower Attorney Do to Help Your Claim?
As a whistleblower, you may find your employer attempts to intimidate you, retaliate against you, and otherwise treat you horribly because you did what you know is right. To battle this extreme pushback, you need an advocate on your side. You need an attorney that knows the laws and your rights as a whistleblower.
Your whistleblower lawyer can help you understand your rights as a whistleblower. They can help you gain the confidence you need to stand up against fraud and get the compensation you deserve.
A qualified whistleblower lawyer can help you negotiate your claim to receive the proper settlement for your ordeal. When a settlement is not an option, they can stand by your side as your advocate and help you argue your case in front of a judge and jury.
When it comes to whistleblower actions, your employer has a team of lawyers working on their side to prove they’re right. You need a knowledgeable and experienced lawyer standing by your side to present the evidence and show your employer committed an act of retaliation and wrongful termination.
If you are a qui tam plaintiff, you need a lawyer that will help you prove the fraud committed by your company and help the government recover on behalf of the taxpayers.
Contact Our Experienced Whistleblower and Qui Tam Attorneys for Your Free Consultation
If you witness illegal activities, you have an obligation to report them to the proper authorities. You have the right to report it without fear of retaliation.
If you have a qui tam claim or are the victim of Whistleblower Protection Act violations, the experienced whistleblower attorneys at the Derek Smith Law Group can help.
Were You Fired for Reporting Fraud to the SEC or other Government Agency? Do You Want to Seek Justice? Please Contact Us at 800.807.2209 or Email [email protected] with Your Questions.