Whistleblower And Qui Tam Claims
Both federal and state laws (depending on jurisdiction) provide protection to employees who object to, or complain about, unlawful conduct in the workplace. These laws are designed to prevent employers from retaliating against employees who “blow the whistle” on illegal acts by their employers. Whistleblower laws also prohibit retaliation for complaints by employees to their employers of unlawful activity and can therefore form the basis of a valid claim even where the complaint about the unlawful activity is being made to the employer or an agent of the employer rather than some other entity. Retaliation for complaining about an employer’s unlawful conduct is one of the most overlooked and underreported forms of discrimination against employees. Often employees assume that if they have not been discriminated against on account of the more traditional forms of employment discrimination, they have not been subjected to an unlawful act by their employer. Other employees are concerned they will be further retaliated against if they take any further action.
However, employers can and should be held accountable if they retaliate against their employees for reporting unlawful activity in the workplace. Examples of acts that may form the basis for a whistleblower claim may include, but are not limited to:
- retaliation for filing a written charge of unlawful discrimination;
- retaliation for testifying as a witness for an employee asserting a claim of unlawful discrimination; or
- retaliation for filing a written complaint or charge that a company is in violation of safety or health regulations.
- Retaliation for raising to the employer that federal, state or local laws are being broken as a result of the employer’s workplace practices or enterprise.
Other forms of whistleblower claims include qui tam lawsuits. Under the False Claims Act, these actions allow private citizens to help the federal government recover funds from companies or individuals who have defrauded the federal government of taxpayer money. In turn, the private citizens bringing such claims are also entitled to a portion of the damages recovered from the fraud. Examples of fraud that may form the basis of a qui tam action include, but are not limited to, Medicare and Medicaid fraud, federal contractor services and products fraud, and fraud regarding other specific programs and contracts with the federal or state government. In addition, employees may not be retaliated against for reporting potential qui tam violations to their employer or to a government agency.
If you believe you have been retaliated against for reporting, complaining, or objecting to your employer’s violation of federal, state, or local laws or regulations, contact Henrichsen Law Group, P.L.L.C. for a confidential consultation. We can give you the legal advice and representation you need to protect your rights and to make sure that your employer is held accountable for violating whistleblower laws.
In addition, if you have information that your employer is defrauding the federal or state government, you may have a qui tam claim under the False Claims Act or a comparable state statute. Contact Henrichsen Law Group, P.L.L.C. to be advised on the appropriate steps to take in asserting this type of unique whistleblower action.
Commission Disputes and Sales Employees
Employment Contracts and Non-Compete Agreements
Federal, State and Local Government Employees
Medical Leave Rights and Discrimination
National Origin Discrimination
Overtime and Wage and Hour Claims
Severance Negotiations and Executive Compensation
Whistleblower and Qui Tam Claims