According to the False Claims Act, as well as multiple other state and federal laws, “whistleblowers” – or individuals who report wrongdoing at their organizations – are fully protected by the law. Of course, one of the greatest threats facing whistleblowers is retaliation from their employers, and this too is considered to be a violation of the False Claims Act.
If you want to bring a whistleblower action but don’t know where to begin, our employment lawyers at Habbas & Associates can help you get started. Skilled at navigating these types of claims, and ensuring that our clients’ needs are represented in any legal proceedings, we can help you protect your interests while you report fraud or other wrongdoing at your company.
What Is the Criteria for a Whistleblower Action?
Any unethical or illegal actions at an organization can be subject to a whistleblower action, and whistleblowers are not restricted to insiders. Anyone who interacts with the organization in question can file a claim, as soon as they learn of illicit or fraudulent acts – whether they’re a vendor, a client, or a contractor.
Once an individual has decided to bring a whistleblower action, it’s important to decide where the claim should be filed. From the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) to the IRS to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), dozens of federal agencies have guidelines for bringing whistleblower actions. Depending on whether the wrongdoing concerned illicit activity, money laundering, tax evasion, public safety hazards, or systemic discrimination, you may need to file a legal action with multiple agencies rather than just one.
However, regardless of where you file, you are entitled to report illegal behavior. Of course, if you were involved in the illicit or fraudulent activity before deciding to come forward, it’s even more critical to discuss your case with a seasoned employment law attorney, particularly one who has expertise in this area.
What Are My Rights as a Whistleblower?
Under the False Claims Act, you are entitled to the following rights:
- Participating in witness testimony and depositions for other whistleblower actions
- Filing a whistleblower claim
- Protection against termination
- Protection against a sudden demotion at work
- Protection against adverse job conditions
Protect Yourself Against Retaliation
It’s estimated that over half of all claims filed with the EEOC are related to employer retaliation, whether it’s for filing a personal claim or participating in a protected whistleblower activity. In order to ensure that you are protected against retaliatory behavior, and that you can seek damages in the event of retaliation, it’s vital to speak with an employment law attorney as soon as possible.
At Habbas & Associates, we bring over a century of expertise to the table, and can offer compassionate counsel as you pursue a whistleblower action. Well-versed in the relevant state and federal statutes that govern whistleblowing activity, our attorneys in San Jose will act as your guide throughout the process –and fight for your rights. Filing a claim takes significant courage, but with the help of our team, you won’t be in this struggle alone.
To speak with an employment lawyer, call (888) 387-4053 today.