Naples Whistleblower Lawyer
When businesses break the law, we often only learn about it because an employee has stepped forward to report their bosses. Such employees are commonly known as “whistleblowers.” Many people with knowledge of wrongdoing are often reluctant to step forward and act as whistleblowers, however, because they fear retaliation on the job.
Congress and the Florida Legislature have adopted strong protections for whistleblowers in these situations. So if you need help stepping forward, an experienced Naples whistleblower lawyer can sit down with you and advise you of your rights. At the Pendas Law Firm, we have successfully represented a number of whistleblowers who have faced illegal retaliation for doing the right thing.
What Is Considered “Whistleblowing”?
Florida has a variety of statutes designed to protect whistleblowers who work for state agencies, government contractors, and private employers. All of these laws serve the same basic purpose–to ensure an employee is not punished at work because they report evidence of possible illegal activity by their employer.
There are typically three elements to a whistleblower claim, all of which must be proven by the employee in order to receive compensation:
- The employee engaged in a legally protected activity, such as reporting the employer’s possible violation of the law to an appropriate government authority or testifying in an ongoing law enforcement proceeding against the employer.
- The employee suffered some sort of adverse employment action after engaging in the protected activity.
- The adverse employment action was a direct result of engaging in the legally protected activity.
To give a hypothetical example, say you work in a medical office that accepts federal Medicaid funds. You have reason to believe that your bosses have been billing Medicaid for services they never actually provided. This would be a violation of the federal False Claims Act (FCA). You report the apparent violation to your bosses. They take no action, so you report the possible fraud to the government. Your bosses then demote you. This would be a textbook case of retaliation.
Under the law, a whistleblower who suffers an illegal adverse employment action can sue to recover back pay and other damages, such as their legal fees. But it is important to note that potential whistleblowers typically must report any suspicions of illegal activity to their employer first before they can take advantage of whistleblower protections.
Contact The Pendas Law Firm Today
Even in a case where an employee may have been wrong about their employer breaking the law, they may still be eligible for whistleblower protections if they acted in good faith. That is why it is important to speak with an experienced Naples whistleblower lawyer before coming forward with any allegations of possible wrongdoing by an employer. You want to make sure you are fully informed of your rights and responsibilities under the law before placing your job and career at risk.
So if you have any further questions about Florida’s whistleblower laws and how they might apply to your situation, contact the Pendas Law Firm today to schedule an initial consultation.