“Whistle blowing” occurs when an employee 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 whistle blowing. Employees who blow the whistle on their employers are protected by law. If you tell 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).
The Cochran Firm is comprised of some of the nation’s most experienced, successful employment lawyers who will fight for your rights and help you collect the money you deserve if you experienced employer retaliation.
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 that protect 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 employer include:
- 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.
With today’s economy, more employers are resorting to illegal tactics to keep their businesses afloat, or to earn money in a fraudulent manner. If you have notified authorities of your employer’s wrongdoing and are alleging whistleblower retaliation, you should speak to an employment attorney as soon as possible. These claims are often complex and carry a short statute of limitations, so it is important that you act quickly.
No employee should be retaliated against for doing the right thing. If you have, please contact the highly-experienced and well-respected employment attorneys at The Cochran Firm today. We have regional offices throughout the United States.