A whistleblower is an employee that identifies fraud within their company and takes legal action to expose that fraud. Under California and federal laws, an employee whistleblower may be entitled to receive a portion of the damages recovered by the government as a result of exposing the fraud.
The purpose of the whistleblower laws is to motivate employees to confront and expose corruption, even if it might threaten their jobs or lives. Whistleblowers are entitled to special protections under the law, including protection against retaliation.
Common areas of fraud that whistleblowers expose:
- Medicaid and Medicare Fraud
- IRS/ Tax fraud (IRS and state tax)
- Doctor and hospital overbilling practices
- Pharmaceutical overbilling schemes
- Defense contractor fraud
- Environmental harm or fraud
- Any government contract overbilling
“It is the public policy of the State of California to encourage employees to notify an appropriate government or law enforcement agency, person with authority over the employee, or another employee with authority to investigate, discover, or correct the violation or noncompliance, and to provide information to and testify before a public body conducting an investigation, hearing or inquiry, when they have reason to believe their employer is violating a state or federal statute, or violating or not complying with a local, state or federal rule or regulation.”
Oftentimes, whistleblowers will face unlawful discrimination and workplace retaliation from their employers for such actions. If your employer retaliates against you for filing a whistleblower claim, you have legal protection.
What Protections Are Afforded to Whistleblowers?
- An employer may not make, adopt, or enforce any rule, regulation, or policy preventing an employee from being a whistleblower.
- An employer may not retaliate against an employee who is a whistleblower.
- An employer may not retaliate against an employee for refusing to participate in an activity that would result in a violation of a state or federal statute, or a violation or noncompliance with a state or federal rule or regulation.
- An employer may not retaliate against an employee for having exercised his or her rights as a whistleblower in any former employment.
Do I Need a Lawyer to File a Whistleblower Claim?
Our office is composed of highly experienced lawyers who, only after careful consideration, agree to represent the claims of select whistleblowers. We do not take every case. Instead, we carefully select only those cases which allow us to become fully immersed in the factual and legal details necessary to bring cases to successful resolutions.
We take whistleblowing cases seriously. If you discovered fraud or misconduct at your workplace, we can help you file a claim. We can also represent you in court against employer retaliation. Our team is well positioned to represent whistleblowers, whether on a federal or state level, in a highly sophisticated and efficient way. We encourage you to contact our office and speak to a lawyer for a free confidential consultation. We do not charge you for an initial consultation. If you are a whistleblower, our legal fees are paid by you only if you recover, as a percentage of that recovery.Reach out now for a free highly-confidential consultation and to learn more about whistleblower claims in California.