Melbourne Whistleblower Lawyer
Many Florida workers are in the untenable position of knowing that their employer is engaged in some form of illegal activity. In many cases, the employee has been pressured to actually participate in such actions. Rather than comply, many of these workers take the brave step of reporting the illegal actions and serving as a whistle-blower.
There are a number of federal and state laws designed to not only protect whistle-blowers from retaliation, but also to encourage them to take legal action against their employers. An experienced Melbourne whistleblower lawyer can advise you of your rights in this area. At the Pendas Law Firm, we represent clients who have knowledge of an employer’s illegal actions and are prepared to take a stand against it.
The False Claims Act
One of the most important whistle-blower laws is the False Claims Act (FCA). The FCA dates back to the Civil War, when contractors for both sides often engaged in outright fraud. The modern FCA provides that anyone who defrauds the government can be ordered to pay a civil penalty (fine) plus three times the amount of government’s losses attributed to the false claim.
A key provision of the FCA is that it allows individual whistle-blowers to file what are known as qui tam lawsuits. Basically, if you know that your employer has engaged in some sort of fraud involving the federal government, such as billing for goods or services that were never provided, you can sue your employer on behalf of the government.
The government may elect to take over your case and pursue the FCA violation itself. Otherwise, you are allowed to continue the case. In either event, as the whistle-blower you are entitled to a portion of any money recovered as an “award” for your actions.
Protections Against Retaliation
Even if you are not prepared to file a lawsuit on your own, the law still protects your ability to alert government officials about potential wrongdoing by your employer. Under Florida law, you cannot be fired or suffer an adverse job action–such as a demotion or a cut in pay–because you chose to report activity that may be illegal or violate public policy to an appropriate official. This includes testifying or giving evidence in any official investigation. However, you must first report any problem to your employer and give them a chance to correct the situation before coming forward publicly.
Contact The Pendas Law Firm Today
The decision to be a whistle-blower is never an easy one. Even with legal protections, many employees fear the damage to their careers or reputations that may result. That is why nobody should ever go through the process alone. A skilled Melbourne whistleblower lawyer can provide you with valuable guidance and legal representation.
So if you have reason to believe that your employer has acted contrary to the law or public policy, do not hesitate to contact the Pendas Law Firm today to schedule a confidential consultation.