Whistleblowers Awards, Rights, and Protections Explained
Strong counsel for whistleblowers who expose government fraud in Nashville, Chattanooga, Memphis, and Jackson and throughout Tennessee
Whistleblower claims can be brought by anyone who properly discloses acts of fraud against the government. In many cases, the people with the most direct knowledge of fraud are employees of companies that do business with the government. These employees are in a prime position to discover fraud and to acquire the evidence needed to confirm it. Whistleblowers who bring successful claims may be entitled to a significant percentage of the money a law firm or the government recovers from the wrongdoer. Bringing a whistleblower action takes a lot of courage. It can be quite frightening. Our law firm guides you professionally through the process.
At Gilbert Russell McWherter Scott Bobbitt PLC, we provide strong counsel for whistleblowers. We ensure that whistleblowers meet the eligibility requirements. Our Tennessee whistleblower attorneys convince the US Department of Justice to take federal whistleblower cases. We also strive to convince the Tennessee Attorney General’s Office to take cases of state-related fraud. Our attorneys bring retaliation cases when necessary to hold employers accountable for penalizing whistleblowers. Most whistleblower statutes require that whistleblowers retain legal counsel.
The requirements for whistleblower actions
The right to bring a whistleblower claim is based on a statute. The requirements and the right to an award are also set forth in the whistleblower statute. Likewise, any right to bring a whistleblower retaliation claim is also dependent on the applicable statute. There are many federal statutes that apply and many types of fraud that the law seeks to stop. Individuals and companies can both be sued. Some of the key federal statutes are:
- The False Claims Act. This act targets fraud based on government contracts such as defense contracts. It also targets Medicare and Medicaid fraud, fraud against veteran’s programs, and federally insured mortgages. Other types of government fraud covered by this act include pharmaceutical fraud, transportation fraud, information technology fraud, and construction fraud.
- The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. This law was enacted in 2010 in response to the 2008 recession. It covers fraud involving the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodities and Futures Trading Commission. It also includes whistleblower provisions. Some of the types of fraud covered by the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Law include Ponzi schemes where investors are paid with profits instead of investments, accounting fraud, theft and embezzlement, mutual fund fraud, insider trading, market manipulation, and other types of fraud.
- The Internal Revenue Code. The IRS has its own whistleblower provisions, which reward whistleblowers who successfully report individual and business tax fraud.
- The Tennessee Public Protection Act. This act protects workers who disclose illegal conduct from retaliation. Its aim is to make sure workers do not have to choose between keeping their job and condoning illegal activity.
- Tennessee Medicaid False Claims Act. This law imposes liability on anyone or any business that files false Medicaid claims.
The laws are very complicated and require a vast amount of resources. A Tennessee whistleblower attorney at the Gilbert Firm works with financial experts and others to determine whether fraud occurred and to properly prove illegal conduct. Whistleblower cases are filed under seal so the government can investigate the case without informing the employer ahead of time.
What are the rewards for blowing the whistle?
Whistleblowers can recover between fifteen and thirty percent of what the government recovers. A variety of factors determine how much the whistleblower obtains, including whether the government decides to intervene in a federal case. Other factors include the amount of money that is recovered, how useful the whistleblower information is, and the timeliness of the whistleblower notice to the government. Whistleblowers must be the first to file a claim in order to recover a whistleblower award.
Tennessee now has caps on the amount of damages that can be allowed in state whistleblower cases. State and federal claims may not be brought simultaneously. Employees must show they reported the misconduct to someone or some authority outside of the employer, and the filing of the report has to be the sole reason for the discharge.
A Tennessee whistleblower lawyer can explain which laws apply, what awards are allowed, and the full range of retaliation protections.
Whistleblowers provide a public service. Our Tennessee lawyers bring claims when employers retaliate.
The Gilbert Firm fights for who discover their employer is acting illegally. We also represent anyone who is penalized for exposing government fraud in Nashville, Chattanooga, Memphis, Jackson, and across Tennessee. We are aggressive in our pursuit to hold the employer accountable, protect your employment status, and to get you all the work benefits and government awards you deserve. To review your case with an experienced Tennessee whistleblower attorney, please call 888.354.FIRM (3476) or complete our contact form.