Orlando Whistleblower Lawyer
Have you or your coworkers stumbled upon illegal actions of your employer? If so, where do you go from there? When companies defraud the government and employees learn about the illegal acts, they may feel a responsibility to take action and speak out against their employers. However, fear of serious repercussions and intimidation may linger on their minds. It is because of this that the government created the Whistleblower Act of 1989, which, among many other state and federal programs and statutes, protects whistleblowers from the possible repercussions taken by their employers. The Act protects against firings, demotions, and other negative impacts on the employee’s future career. Additionally, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Whistleblower Protection Program adds enforcement to over 20 whistleblower statutes nation-wide, ensuring that employees that take action against their employer, no matter how big and powerful, are protected. But what exactly is a whistleblower? Contact our Orlando whistleblower claim lawyers for more information.
What Is a Whistleblower?
A whistleblower is a person who reports or otherwise sheds light on an unscrupulous business practice that is occurring, such as an illegal act, fraud or misrepresentation, abuse of power, or actions or conditions that are dangerous for health or safety. This might include anything from illegally dumping toxic waste to committing some sort of financial or tax fraud to maintaining dangerous work conditions. When unethical or illegal activity is occurring within a company, reporting it to the proper authority can be difficult to do, especially if the employee fears repercussion from their employer. In order to encourage individuals to report unethical activity, whistleblower protection laws are in place. These laws protect whistleblowers from retaliation. If you think that you have a whistleblower claim and are unsure of how to proceed, please call our Orlando whistleblower lawyers at The Pendas Law Firm today for your free consultation.
Shedding Light Upon a Company Defrauding the Government
Whistleblowers can bring lawsuits against their employees regardless of whether they work for a private corporation or a branch of government. The False Claims Act is designed to persuade employees to shed light on their employer’s illegal misdeeds with significant financial incentives. A whistleblower sues on behalf of the government, and in so doing, receives 15 to 25 percent of the lawsuit profit. These sums vary widely on the type of scope of the fraudulent acts. Rewards can range from hundreds of thousands of dollars to tens of millions. Some famous examples of whistleblower cases, as reported by Politico, include the leaking of the Pentagon Papers in 1971 by Daniel Ellsberg, which released information on why the U.S. entered the Vietnam War. The release of the papers was heavily fought by the Nixon administration. Frank Serpico, a New York City police officer, brought light on the incredibly vast amount of corruption among the police department of the 1960s and 1970s. More recently, Edward Snowden released information about the National Security Administration’s (NSA) illegal surveillance actions.
The False Claims Act is also used as the government’s foremost tool to dissuade illegal and fraudulent acts, and is designed to save the taxpayers billions of dollars per year–money that would otherwise go to the pockets of large and fraudulent corporations. We deal with whistleblower cases that involve:
- IRS Fraud/Tax Evasion;
- Overbilling Medicare/Medicaid;
- TARP Funds Fraud;
- Failing to pay overtime benefits when they are due;
- Defense Contract Overcharging;
- Aerospace Contract Overcharging;
- Pharmaceutical/Health Care Fraud; and
- Violating an Environmental Protection Law.
Know Your Rights as a Whistleblower
If you are a whistleblower, you have certain rights. To be sure, you are protected from an employer taking any adverse action against you as a result of your whistleblower status. Whistleblowers.gov lists examples of adverse actions that employers are prohibited from doing, including:
- Firing or laying off an employee;
- Demoting an employee;
- Denying an employee overtime or a promotion;
- Making threats against the worker;
- Reducing the worker’s pay or hours;
- Failing to hire or rehire an employee;
- Disciplining an employee;
- Denying a worker benefits; and
There are 22 different federal laws that protect workers from retaliation. If you have been retaliated against due to your participation in reporting a dangerous or illicit business activity, you should meet with our Orlando lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your options.
Why You Should Work with an Orlando Whistleblower Lawyer
Speaking up against unethical practices can be very challenging to do, and may be associated with fear of repercussion, as well as being labeled a “tattletale” in the industry. If you are considering reporting the unethical or illegal practices of a large company, you may also be intimidated by the company’s reach and power; surely the company will have the money and resources to defend itself and hire the very best attorneys.
To protect you from unlawful retaliation and assist you in your lawsuit, working with an attorney who is equally as skilled and experienced in whistleblower claims, including SEC whistleblower claims, CFTC whistleblower claims, fraud whistleblower claims, qui tam whistleblower claims, and more is critical. Not only will a good attorney improve your chances of success in your lawsuit, but an attorney is also available to explain to you the many complex laws surrounding whistleblower protections, open an investigation to gather evidence to support your allegation, represent you in any interactions with your employer or other parties, and ultimately do everything possible to hold big corporations who engage in unprincipled practices accountable for their wrongdoing.
You do not have to do this alone. If you suspect unlawful or unethical activity in your place of employment, reporting it is the right thing to do. Contact our lawyers to learn more about how to do so, your options, and the legal protections afforded to you.
Experienced Orlando Whistleblower Lawyers of The Pendas Law Firm
Our lawyers at the Orlando offices of The Pendas Law Firm have extensive experience dealing with all scales of whistleblower cases. For a successful lawsuit, it is imperative to team with an experienced, aggressive law firm. If you have intimate knowledge of your company or organization’s fraudulent acts against the government, call us one of our Orlando whistleblower lawyers today at 1-888-573-6327.