Whistleblower Cases

Whistleblower Cases

Do you suspect that your employer is engaging in illegal or fraudulent activities? If so, you might have thought about reporting your employer to the government, but you fear retribution if your employer finds out. You may have already reported to your employer and experienced adverse employment action because you are a whistleblower. In either case, call a skilled whistleblower lawyer for help.

Federal and State Whistleblower Laws

Federal and State Whistleblower Laws

A whistleblower is an employee who alleges their employer has committed wrongdoing. The wrongdoing usually violates public law or injures a large group of people. Generally, whistleblower cases involve some type of fraudulent activity by the employer.

Whistleblower laws protect individuals who come forward from unfair employment retaliation. In some situations, whistleblower laws offer financial incentives to encourage individuals to come forward with information.

Two common whistleblower laws that might apply in your situation are:

Florida Whistleblower Law

The Florida False Claims Act protects you if you disclose information about your employer when they, to name just a few examples:

  • Deliver less than all of the property or money designated to be used by the state
  • Knowingly present a fraudulent or false claim for payment
  • Conspire to defraud the government
  • Knowingly decrease or avoid a payment to be made to the government

The state whistleblower law protects employees from employer retaliation if they refuse to participate in illegal activity. It also protects employees who work with the government or come forward on their own to provide information about employer fraud or illegal activities.

Federal False Claims Act

The False Claims Act protects whistleblowers on the federal level. It allows you to file a claim against your employer on behalf of the federal government. The action is called a “qui tam” claim. The law protects you from employer retaliation for helping the government.

You May Receive Compensation for a Whistleblower Case

Whistleblowers can recover compensation for reporting their employers to the government. If you come forward with relevant information, you could receive a substantial amount of money. Federal and state whistleblower laws provide compensation in the amount of:

  • 15% to 25% of the amount recovered by the attorney general
  • 25% to 30% of the amount recovered if you proceed without government intervention

The amount you receive is based on the amount recovered by the government. Considering that defendants in whistleblower cases may be ordered to pay treble damages (three times the actual damages), your percentage for a whistleblower case could be significant. If you file a claim, you could also be entitled to reimbursement of costs and attorney’s fees for bringing the action.

Protection From Employer Retaliation for Whistleblowers

The fear that an employer may fire the employee or take other negative employment actions deters many people from coming forward with information about fraud or illegal activity. However, federal and state whistleblower laws protect employees from retaliation such as:

  • Changing job titles
  • Terminating employment
  • Unexplained negative performance reviews
  • Reduction of wages and pay
  • Creating unbearable working conditions to force the employee to quit
  • Workplace harassment
  • Modifying work responsibilities
  • Withholding promotions

You may be protected for a wide variety of whistleblower activities. For example, you may have whistleblower protection for calling a whistleblower hotline or filing a written complaint with a government agency. 

You may also have whistleblower protection if you refuse to participate in illegal activity at work, participate in a government investigation, or help with a legal action against your employer.

Call a lawyer if you are unsure if you have whistleblower status or what you should do next. An attorney will explain your legal rights and help you take steps to ensure you are covered by whistleblower laws.

Examples of Whistleblower Cases in Ocala, FL

Whistleblower cases cover a wide range of illegal and fraudulent activities that employers might take. Examples of activities that could lead to a whistleblower claim include, but are not limited to:

  • Defense contract overages
  • Misusing disaster relief funds
  • Overbilling a government agency
  • IRS tax fraud
  • Healthcare fraud
  • Violating finance reform laws
  • Misusing government grants
  • Mortgage fraud
  • Medicaid/Medicare overbilling or fraud
  • Price fixing schemes
  • Money laundering
  • Government contracting fraud
  • Securities and commodities fraud
  • Illegal marketing of medications

Many whistleblower cases involve complex areas of law. It can be difficult to know if you are entitled to whistleblower protections. Doing the right thing can be overwhelming and frightening, but it is easier with the help of an experienced whistleblower lawyer.

How Can I Protect Myself if I Plan To File a Whistleblower Claim in Ocala, FL?

Talk with a Florida whistleblower lawyer about your situation as soon as possible. Other steps you can take to protect yourself include:

  • Keep copies of all papers associated with a complaint you file with the government or your employer
  • Preserve documents that relate to your employer’s actions
  • Print emails, texts, and other communications related to your employer’s activity or your claim
  • Preserve information and documentation proving changes in your employment made by our employer
  • Keep statements from witnesses that could have information about the whistleblower case

Your whistleblower lawyer will gather additional documentation and information about your case. However, the more information and documents you can provide, the stronger your whistleblower case becomes.

Is There a Statute of Limitations for Florida Whistleblower Cases?

Whistleblower cases involve different time limits. Generally, you must file a claim within six years of the date your employer committed the fraud or illegal act. If you file a claim because of employer retaliation, you generally have two years to file a complaint.

However, exceptions could change these time limits. The best way to protect your rights is to seek legal advice as soon as possible. Waiting to talk with an attorney could result in losing your rights.

Call a Whistleblower Lawyer Near You for Help

It can be difficult and overwhelming to stand up to your employer if you think they are committing illegal acts or fraud. However, if you report your employer to the government, you might be protected by whistleblower laws. These laws are complex, and it is wise to have legal counsel before making any decisions.

Contact our attorneys at the Allen Law Accident & Injury Lawyers for a free consultation at (352) 351-3258 to learn more about your legal rights and options.