Articles Tagged with California qui tam law

800px-Cubicle_landIt can be perilous for a single individual to expose a company’s illegal acts. Whistleblowers, as these courageous people as called, risk losing their jobs, damaging their reputations, being ostracized by coworkers and neighbors, and other detriments by daring to speak up.

Federal and state legislatures recognize the dangers and have enacted whistleblower laws, which protect those who come forward from retaliation by the persons or businesses they identify as engaging in illegal conduct. False Claim statutes also provide whistleblowers with legal recourse. These laws allow for qui tam lawsuits, which allow a person to sue an individual or business believed to have defrauded the government of public funds to recover the illegally obtained money. The person bringing suit is referred to as a “qui tam plaintiff,” and can possibly receive a large percentage of the funds collected from the wrongdoers.

By allowing whistleblowers to bring a civil action, governments acknowledge the public service whistleblowers fulfill and the hardships they endure as a consequence of their exposing fraud.

View_of_office_cubicle_looking_south_-_Skinner_Meat_Packing_Plant,_Main_Plant,_6006_South_Twenty-seventh_Street,_Omaha,_Douglas_County,_NE_HAER_NE-12-A-26.tifThe California Whistleblowers law prohibits employers, or someone associated with them and acting on their behalf, to retaliate against employees who report their employer’s unlawful activities. The retaliation can take many forms, such as:

  • Terminating the employee’s employment
  • Demoting the employee or denying the worker a deserved promotion, raise, or bonus

A Whistle blower employee is an informant who exposes a crime, or wrongdoing, taking place within the organization in the hope of stopping it. If you are considering becoming a whistle blower, or if you have been retaliated for reporting a misdeed you should be aware of your rights.

Old Rule

Approximately 50 years ago, unless you had an employment contract, or were a member of a labor union, you were considered an at will employee. The “at will employment doctrine” holds that an employee can be terminated for any reason, at any time and without any compensation. Recently, many exceptions to this rigid rule have emerged from the court system, as well as from state and federal legislatures.