Whistleblowers Have Powerful Laws On Their Side

Those who report fraud, known in legal terms as “relators” and commonly as whistleblowers, have some of the most powerful and effective laws in the country on their side.

Whistleblowers may identify and report actual theft, false claims, over billing, up coding, unbundling, kickbacks, false certifications, violations of governmental regulations, destruction of company records, workplace violence, safety hazards or unsafe working conditions, environmental concerns, substance abuse, general conflicts of interest, release of proprietary information and other types of fraud or occupational concerns.

Some of the governmental agencies and laws that protect whistleblowers include:

* Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

* Civil Rights Act of 1866 (since amended numerous times)

* Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

* Federal False Claims Act

* Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act of 1970

Under the OSH Act of 1970, employers may not discharge or in any manner discriminate against any employee because an employee has filed any complaint, or instituted or caused to be instituted, any proceeding under or related to this Act. Additionally, the employer may not terminate an employee who has testified, or is about to testify, in any such proceeding.

Under the Act, an employee who believes that a work hazard exists, whether or not they have filed a claim, has legal protection to refuse to work if all of the following apply:

* The employee faces death or serious injury and the hazard is so clear that a reasonable person would agree with the seriousness of the hazard.

* The situation is so urgent that there is not time to eliminate the hazard through regulatory channels.

* The employee has tried to get the employer to correct the dangerous condition and they have not complied.

OSHA also administers the whistle blowing provisions of thirteen other statutes, protecting employees who report violations of various trucking, airline, nuclear power, pipeline, environmental and securities laws.

The Federal False Claims Act provides the legal framework for claims alleging fraud against the federal government, and it does several important things for a whistleblower:

* Provides specific protection for the whistleblower from discharge, demotion, suspension, threats or other harassment or discrimination that the whistleblower may encounter due to lawful actions taken in the furtherance of a whistleblower claim, if the employee is still works for the employer.

* Provides for filing a whistleblower complaint under seal, which means that no one other than the government, not even the defendants alleged to have committed the fraud, can know of the complaint until after the government has investigated the claims.

* Allows the whistleblower to share in the government’s successful recovery, from 15% and up to 25% of the entire recovery, in some cases.

Eleven states and the District of Columbia also have their own false claims acts that closely resemble the Federal Act.

Whistleblower laws allow for the contingent fee representation of whistleblowers. The Federal False Claims Act also provides that a whistleblower’s attorney’s fees be paid by the entity that committed the fraud in the event of a government recovery. Therefore, there are no costs/fees/expenses to the employee if the case is successful.

Anyone who knows of fraud against the government can become a whistleblower. Typically, individuals who know about fraud are employees or former employees of the companies committing the fraud these individuals often have the best evidence to support their knowledge.

There can only be ONE whistleblower claim based on certain information. The first to file based on specific information about a particular fraud preempts other whistleblowers and their claims. In addition, an employee cannot bring a whistleblower complaint if information about the fraud becomes public before bringing a claim.

For information on whistleblowers and the laws protecting them visit http://www.LegalView.com/. Also use LegalView’s practice areas to learn about the Duragesic patch, which can be found at http://duragesic.legalview.com, or Chantix drug side effects, which has been linked to suicide among patients.

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One Response

  1. Try telling that to Healthcare workers!

    Medical Professional who try to report negligent practices are horrendously unprotected! My own case was typical of thousands where Whistleblowers are gaged by swift retaliatory tactics. So called “Risk Management” and phony Compliance Lines only mask the truth and provide an illusion of self-policing that does not exist. The Nurses are trying to speak out on various Blogs like mine to read about W.H.E.N? WHISTLEBLOWERS in HEALTHCARE EXPOSE NEGLIGENCE:
    http://medteam.wordpress.com/category/whistleblowers-in-healthcare-expose-negligence-when/

    This appalling situation is even stripping excellent Doctors of their careers due to “Bad Faith Peer Review.” Meanwhile the US Healthcare system becomes increasingly dangerous for patients due in part to the Deliberate Negligent Understaffing of Medical facilities by greedy Healthcare Corporations. Many Nurses have left Nursing due to the toxic work environment where they are unable to provide proper care or protect patients from harm. America does not have a “Nursing Crisis” it has a “Nursing Exodus” because no one is able to reverse the shocking trend towards unsafe care. I am launching a Campaign to demand an end to these unsafe working conditions and strong Whistleblower protections for Healthcare workers. Please visit the C.U.T! Campaign to CONTROL UNDERSTAFFING TODAY: http://medteam.wordpress.com/

    Long after I was informed by Maryland Unemployment Compensation that my Hospital had not presented any evidence to demonstrate that they had fired me for cause I was still suffering from their career sabotaging defamation. I tried repeatedly to report negligent practices in sworn statements to a number of Government bodies and regulatory ageencies and was ignored. I was told my Arbitration wasn’t binding, but this was untrue so I have no legal recourse anymore. Despite the lack of evidence my prestigious Hospital prevailed at Arbitration, how? The Compliance Line refused to protect me from retaliation while the Hospital continued to doctor my file behind my back. In violation of their fancy online claims to protect Whistleblower this Compliance line still refuse to investigate my case. My online Petition has nearly 3000 signatures calling for an investigation, please visit:
    http://www.thepetitionsite.com/3/johns-hopkins-hospital-investigation-of-whistleblowers-dismissal-demand-compliance-accountability

    My Campaign efforts could really use your help,

    Many Thanks, Kim.

    Please replace my first post with this comment

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