A whistleblower in Miami is an individual who reports information about wrongdoing committed by an organization or business. Whistleblowers help to keep powerful businesses and unscrupulous employers in check by making sure that the public is protected against illegal activity that threatens the public safety, health, and financial well-being. For the past 25 years, the experienced attorneys at the Derek Smith Law Group have helped Miami whistleblowers from unlawful retaliation for their service.
A whistleblower in Miami is someone that reports information about wrongdoings or illegal acts by an organization or business to an individual or entity that can act upon the information. Whistleblowers play a vital role in keeping employers honest and ensuring public health and safety. Under whistleblower federal and state whistleblower laws, it is illegal to retaliate against a whistleblower, including insisting a whistleblower’s identity be revealed should he or she wish to remain anonymous.
Whistleblower attorneys can have one of two roles. If a person is filing a qui tam action, which is when the whistleblower files the lawsuit, as opposed to the appropriate government agency, a whistleblower attorney can help navigate the process and represent the whistleblower throughout the process.
The second role is when whistleblower protections have been violated. When this occurs, a whistleblower attorney in Miami can help the employee obtain the compensation and justice he or she is entitled to.
Whistleblowers in Miami are protected under federal and state laws in various capacities. The laws protecting Miami whistleblowers include:
- The False Claims Act. This is a federal law that allows whistleblowers to file qui tam claims. Under this law, the whistleblower is entitled to 25% of the money recovered by the government.
- Dodd-Frank Act. The Dodd-Frank Act was passed in 2010 and relates to claims filed within the financial sector for financial fraud.
- SarbaneOxley. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) was passed in 2002 and also helps employees in the financial sector, protecting them against retaliation.
- Florida Public Whistleblower’s Act (“FPWA”). Under this law, employees who make certain disclosures to an appropriate agency are protected from any form of retaliation.
There are whistleblower protections specified in many federal acts that protect public health and safety or use government funding. These acts include:
- Clean Air Act (CAA)
- Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act (CMVSA)
- Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA)
- Department of Defense Authorization Act of 1987
- Energy Reorganization Act of 1974 (ERA)
- Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA)
- FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FDA Modernization Act)
- Federal Mine Safety and Health Act (FMSHA)
- Federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1972 (FWPCA)
- Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA)
- Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act (MSAWPA)
- Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSH Act)
- Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA)
- Solid Waste Disposal Act (SWDA)
- Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA)
- Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)
There are numerous examples of whistleblower actions in Florida. Some of these examples include issues, such as:
• Tax Fraud
• Medicaid/Medicare Fraud
• Mortgage Fraud
• Overbilling Medicaid or Medicare
• Overcharges of defense contracts
• Workplace safety violations
• Failure to pay overtime to employees
• Dumping waste into drinking water supplies
• Contaminating the environment
• Failure to follow environmental laws
• Food contamination
• Violations relating to financial reform
• Failure to abide by a commercial vehicle or transport laws
Each law has a separate set of the statute of limitations to file a claim as a whistleblower and to file a claim for retaliation. Under Florida’s whistleblower protection law, a person has 60 days from the date of the knowledge of the activity to file a claim with an appropriate agency. If retaliation occurs as a result of this action, the employee has 180 days to file a complaint.
Under the federal whistleblower protection act, the employee also has a time limit of 180 days to file a complaint for retaliation.
The Sarbanes-Oxley also allows a time limit of 180 days to file a claim of retaliation.
The Dodd-Frank Act allows a person 6 to 10 years to file a whistleblower claim. If retaliation occurs, as a result, the employee has 3 years to file a complaint.
Under a qui tam claim, as discussed above, a whistleblower is entitled to 25% of the money collected by the government for the fraudulent activity. However, if a whistleblower experiences retaliation, he or she is allowed to bring a claim against the company and may be entitled to the following remedies:
• Reinstatement of employment and benefits
• Reimbursement of benefit premiums
• Reimbursement of medical and other related expenses
• Back pay
• Future pay
• Termination of the person responsible for retaliation
• Attorney’s fees
• Pain and suffering
• Emotional Distress
• Punitive damages
If you are whistleblower, here are a few things you can do to help with a claim of retaliation, should it occur.
1. Contact a whistleblower attorney immediately.
2. Do not quit your job. If you quit your job that can hurt your case.
3. Document every incident as it occurs. Include any retaliatory actions, who was involved, what occurred, when and where it occurred, and if there were any witnesses.
4. Collect any evidence you may have, including notes, emails, text messages, etc.
Whistleblowers are essential to protecting the public from corporate fraud and threats to public health and safety. Therefore, it is essential to have laws that protect whistleblowers and keep them willing to come forward when they have such valuable information. If you are the victim of whistleblower retaliation in Miami, the experienced attorneys at the Derek Smith Law Group can help. Contact us today at (305) 946-1884 for a free consultation. We do not collect any money until you win your case.