Whistleblower Lawyer Orange County

US citizens work very hard to support public programs like Medicare and Medicaid, so when a person or entity files a false claim to defraud the government, then the money is taken directly from the people. Whistleblowers help preserve justice by heroically exposing this criminal behavior.

What are whistleblowers, and how do employers retaliate against them?

Whistleblowers bring attention to abuses and fraud within government agencies, large corporations, and other organizations. Employers are prohibited from retaliating against employees who engage in protected activities under the law. Retaliation is when an employer takes any type of adverse action against an employee that would discourage them from engaging in a protected activity. Retaliation has a negative impact on a company’s morale and is harmful to employees’ financial, professional and personal lives. Sometimes adverse actions are subtle, like excluding an employee from essential training or meetings, and in other cases, it’s overt, like firing the employee. 

Retaliation against an employee who exercised their workplace rights takes many forms, such as

  • Denying overtime pay
  • Denying a promotion
  • Termination
  • Demotion
  • Decrease in pay
  • Decrease in the number of hours scheduled to work
  • Blacklisting
  • Reassignment
  • Intimidation
  • Harassment
  • Threats
  • Failing to hire or rehire
  • Denying benefits
  • Constructive discharge, or when a worker’s resignation is due to the employer creating a hostile work environment.

Whistleblower Protections Under The Law

The Whistleblower Protection Act was first passed in the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 and was amended in 1989, 1994 and 2012. The Office of the Special Counsel investigates federal whistleblower complaints. The Merit System Protection Board (MSPB) adjudicates whistleblower complaints. Unlike other types of cases, there is no statute of limitations under the Whistleblower Protection Act, which means that a complaint can be filed at any time.

Do I need to hire a whistleblower lawyer?

Looking for an attorney feels like a challenging task when you are considering sharing credible information that a person or entity is defrauding the government. You may be anxious to come forward and fear repercussions from your employer. 

Employment law is very complex, and preparing a lawsuit requires attention to detail, superior organization, and availability to dedicate time to building the employee the strongest case possible. To learn more about federal employee whistleblower rights and employment law as it relates to your case, you should speak to a whistleblower lawyer.

In the fiscal year that ended in September 2021, the Department of Justice recovered over $5.6 billion in settlements and judgments involving false and fraudulent claims against government agencies. The U.S. government offers incentives to encourage people to come forward, so some of these settlements went to the brave people who came forward. Call the Rubin Law Corporation to speak to a knowledgeable employment law attorney.

The False Claims Act

The False Claims Act (FCA), also known as or called the “Lincoln Law,” is a federal law that imposes liability on persons and companies who knowingly defraud governmental programs by submitting false claims for payment or approval. Not only is a person or company found guilty of violating the FCA liable for damages to the government but must also pay a $2,000 penalty for each false claim.

What makes “qui tam” claims different? 

Private citizens are allowed to file suits on behalf of the United States against another person or entity that has defrauded the government through misuse or theft of taxpayer money. The person who brings forth the claim is called the “relator.” If successful, a relator can receive up to 30% of the government’s award. Examples of qui tam lawsuits include overbilling for goods for services, Medicare and Medicaid fraud, marking up prices for prescription drugs (a practice known as “padding”), tax evasion, and tax fraud. 

Misrepresenting income to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), deceiving Medicare or Medicaid to receive unapproved payments, overcharging for prescription drugs, and charging for goods or services that were never provided are all crimes against the government and taxpayers. The Rubin Law Corporation can explain more about qui tam claims during your consultation.

Examples of Whistleblowers

There have been many famous whistleblowers in history, some having films made after them. Movies and TV series have been about the famous Watergate scandal. You probably have heard of whistleblowers who make headlines, whether in the finance industry, military, pharmaceutical industry, or politics. 

Whistleblowing is something that people care greatly about, yet is both risky and controversial. Whistleblowing can limit your career, but people deeply believe that wrongs should be righted and that retaliation against whistleblowers should be punished. The first whistleblower protection law was passed in 1778 and has become a sacred part of employment law. Examples of whistleblowing include 

  • Corruption, such as bribery, embezzlement, and kickbacks
  • Racist, sexist or homophobic behavior
  • Sexual harassment
  • Fraud

In 2020, the US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was inundated with thousands of whistleblower complaints related to health and safety violations. The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act is a federal law that prevents future financial crises and incentivized whistleblowers from reporting violations of federal securities law. In 2021, Governor Newsome signed a new law amending California’s whistleblower protections to allow courts to permit to award attorney fees to a plaintiff bringing forth a successful action under the California Labor Code.

How Our Whistleblower Attorneys Can Help You

Since 1995, Rubin Law Corporation has helped whistleblowers in Orange County get the justice that they deserve. We stay up to date with the most recent legislation as it related to employment law and will explain to you how the law applies in your specific case. Call now at 213-224-9568 to schedule your consultation with one of our whistleblower attorneys.