Whistleblowers are individuals who come forward with information about a government, corporation, or other entity that is engaging in fraud or other illegal activity. To encourage individuals to report such activity and protect them from retaliation, the federal government enacted the False Claims Act (FCA). As an employee, it is essential to know your rights in the event of a violation. One such remedy is a qui tam lawsuit. A whistleblower case allows an individual to sue on behalf of the government when they suspect their employer has violated specific laws. These cases are sometimes referred to as whistleblower lawsuits because they are often brought by employees who have witnessed illegal activity in their workplace. RD Law Group, Los Angeles employment lawyers can help guide you through the process of filing a qui tam suit.
What is Whistleblower Protection?
Under whistleblower protection laws, employees are protected from any retaliation from their employers. You have protections if you speak about or threaten to speak about illegal activities that the employer or other employees have committed.
The Federal False Claims Act protects Los Angeles Whistleblowers from retaliation or any adverse action. This includes protection against:
- reporting federal or state law violations
- refusing to participate in illegal activity
- testifying in proceedings concerning alleged violations
Employers who retaliate against whistleblowers may be subject to fines and other penalties. A whistleblower attorney can help explain your rights.
Do I Have a Qui Tam Case?
Contact a top employment lawyer in Los Angeles if your employer has engaged in any fraudulent activity or violated state or federal laws. You may have grounds for a qui tam lawsuit. It’s important to talk with an experienced Qui Tam lawyer in Los Angeles. Before taking any legal action, you should fully understand your rights and options under the law.
Damages & Compensation Available Under Qui Tam Lawsuits
Filing a qui tam lawsuit can lead to substantial rewards for brave employees who come forward. You’ll be expected to provide information and evidence about fraudulent activities being committed by corporations or individuals. If your qui tam lawsuit is successful and the defendant is found guilty of fraud, you may be entitled to compensation. You may be entitled to damages for coming forward with information about their activities. The amount of compensation available depends on several factors. How much money was recovered because of your case? Whether other people were involved in reporting similar activity before you did. Whistleblower awards can range from 10-30% of total damages recovered by the government as part of a settlement or judgment awarded by a court.
Uncovering California Whistleblowing Lawsuits
Are you an employee in the state of California who is considering reporting unlawful behavior on behalf of your employer? You will be protected and may be rewarded for doing so under whistleblower or qui tam laws. Whistleblowers are the unsung heroes of any business or organization. Without their willingness to speak up and report wrongdoings, many companies could get away with questionable or unethical practices for years.
Look at some of the past whistleblower lawsuits in California. These are some activities whistleblowers have reported in the past.
The United States Department of Labor vs. Sutter Health System
In 2012, Sutter Health System was sued by the U.S. Department of Labor on behalf of three whistleblowers. They had come forward to report possible fraud and abuse within the healthcare system. The whistleblowers alleged that Sutter had engaged in a scheme to defraud Medicare and Medicaid programs by submitting false claims. They submitted false claims for services that were never provided or weren’t medically necessary. As part of the settlement, Sutter agreed to pay $30 million in damages and penalties. The three whistleblowers were also awarded over $3 million each as compensation for their efforts in bringing the case against Sutter Health System.
The United States vs. Bank of America Corporation
In 2009, Bank of America Corp was sued by two former employees who stated they were fired after they reported illegal practices at the bank. According to their lawsuit, the employees had discovered that Bank of America had been engaging in deceptive lending practices and lying about its loan underwriting standards. After reporting these issues internally, they were fired from their positions at Bank of America shortly afterward. The court sided with the plaintiffs and awarded them both over $1 million each in damages for wrongful termination and emotional distress caused by their firing.
People vs. Chevron Corporation
In 2011, Chevron Corp was sued by a former employee who said he was wrongfully terminated. After he reported environmental violations at one of Chevron’s refineries in Richmond, California, he was fired. The plaintiff argued that Chevron had violated various federal environmental laws while operating its refinery. They claimed Chevron failed to act when those violations were brought to light by employees like him. Instead, they opted to terminate employees who raised these issues internally or reported them externally to agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). A jury found Chevron guilty and awarded damages totaling more than $2 million dollars. This was for back pay and emotional distress suffered by the employee due to his wrongful termination from Chevron Corp.
Your voice can make a big difference.
Whistleblower lawsuits have been around for decades. Many have been successful in uncovering corporate wrongdoing and forcing companies into compliance. These three examples from California prove whistleblowing is an incredibly powerful tool to hold companies accountable for illegal wrongdoing. Whistleblower lawsuits protect public safety and ensure justice is served when companies act unethically or illegally. If you’re thinking about coming forward with information regarding corporate fraud or illegal activity, call our whistleblower lawyer. Justice will eventually prevail if you stand up for what you know is right! Hire a top California retaliation lawyer for help.
Hire RD Law Group for help.
At RD Law Group, we will explain all of your rights when filing a whistleblower lawsuit. We’ll help determine if you have a valid case against your company. Filing a qui tam lawsuit can be complicated and a bit scary, but it doesn’t have to be. At RD Law Group, our experienced employment law attorneys represent clients in these cases. A retaliation attorney will work with you every step of the way to ensure that your rights are protected under California law. We’ll fight to ensure you do not experience retaliation in the workplace. RD Law Group has some of the best Qui Tam attorneys in LA. We also handle discrimination, retaliation, wage and hour claims, and any issue relating to employee and working conditions.
If you believe that your employer has committed fraud or violated any state or federal laws, contact us today for free legal consultation. We are here for California employees and workers who want justice!