Whether whistleblowers take action under the federal False Claims Act or California False Claims Act, they play a vital role in society. They uncover wrongdoings and hold individuals and companies accountable when they defraud the government. Still, over the years many myths surrounding whistleblowers have developed. Some of these are harmful, and our San Francisco qui tam lawyers want to explain the truth behind them.
Whistleblowers Report Problems in the Workplace Externally
Whistleblowers who get the most attention have typically reported on something seen in their workplace externally, such as taking the matter to the press. However, not all whistleblowing takes place outside of a workplace or company. Sometimes employees report a problem internally, to their supervisor or manager. These individuals may not consider themselves whistleblowers, but they are, and their role is just as vital. Under California’s whistleblower protection laws, workers are protected from retaliation after blowing the whistle either internally or externally.
Whistleblowers are Disloyal
Unfortunately, there are some misconceptions about the character of whistleblowers. The fact that they are disloyal is just one of these myths. People think whistleblowers are disloyal simply because they report their company or another individual for wrongdoing. It is important to understand, though, that whistleblowers are helping the United States government and therefore, they are helping the entire country. That shows immense loyalty to their country. Additionally, many people blow the whistle out of loyalty to their employer. They notice wrongdoing, and they just want to make it right with the help of a qui tam attorney in San Francisco.
Whistleblowers are ‘Leakers’
The terms ‘whistleblower’ and ‘leaker’ are often used interchangeably, but they are different. Leaking typically involves sharing information that is embarrassing or interesting, although it may still be very important. Whistleblowing has a much more limited definition. The Whistleblower Protection Act defines the act of whistleblowing as a non-intelligence federal worker reporting violations of the law, gross waste of funds, an abuse of power, and a substantial threat to public health and safety. As such, whistleblowing typically involves wrongdoing that is much more harmful to the general public.
Whistleblowers Should Remain Anonymous
Workers often do not want to be identified as whistleblowers for fear of retaliation by their employer. Sometimes, qui tam lawyers or government officials promise whistleblowers that they can remain anonymous when this is not always true. At some point during the process, a whistleblower’s identity becomes known to everyone involved in the lawsuit. Whistleblowing is necessary however, and those wishing to blow the whistle should not let this stop them. There are protections in place for workers, and measures they can take if they experience retaliation from their employer.
Noticed Wrongdoing in the Workplace? Call Our Qui Tam Attorneys in San Francisco
If you have noticed fraud or other wrongdoing in the workplace, it is important that you do not let these many myths keep you from doing the right thing. At Willoughby Brod, LLP, we are the San Francisco qui tam lawyers who can help. We will review your case at no charge and advise on your legal options and recommend the next steps to take. Call us today at (800) 427-7020 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.