Articles Tagged with san francisco whistleblower attorney

chris-greenhow-662446-unsplash-copy-300x225While whistleblowers sometimes get a bad rap as “snitches,”the opposite in fact is true. By revealing their employers’ illegal actions, whistleblowers help society in ways that only whistleblowers can. If you have any doubts about whether you should blow the whistle on your employer’s illegal actions, contact the whistleblower attorneys at Willoughby Brod today to learn more about the ways in which whistleblowers help society and the ways in which you can contribute to that cause.

  1. Whistleblowers help citizens save money.

From 1986-2016, recoveries made from whistleblower cases under the False Claims Act alone totaled over $28 billion. That is $28 billion that could have ended up in the hands of fraudsters rather than back in citizens’ pockets. By blowing the whistle on fraudulent acts, whistleblowers not only protect those who are directly harmed by the fraud but also send a message to fraudsters that the actions they wish to engage in are unacceptable and will not go undetected.

rene-bohmer-430927-unsplash-copy-200x300One common concern that holds people back from becoming whistleblowers is the fear that they will face discipline for being involved in the same fraud they are now reporting. Sometimes employees feel coerced by their employer into partaking in fraudulent actions, and other times the employee may have been the one to spearhead the fraud. In both cases, if you have had a change of heart, and not only do you no longer wish to participate in the fraud, but you want to put an end to it altogether, contact the qui tam attorneys at Willoughby Brod today to learn more about what steps you should take next.

When You Participated in the Fraud but Did Not Spearhead it

Both the False Claims Act (FCA) and the California False Claims Act (CFCA) want to afford whistleblowers the maximum protection possible so as not to deter people from coming forth as a whistleblower. Therefore, in most circumstances, a whistleblower who partook in the fraudulent act they are now reporting will not face any penalties for participating in the fraud.

benjamin-child-90768-300x200Reporting your boss for engaging in unlawful conduct at work not only requires courage but also thick skin. While some will undoubtedly tout you as a hero as soon as you blow the whistle, others may not be as friendly or supportive. You should prepare yourself for the worst, from your employer as well as from the public, should you decide to blow the whistle on your employer. Despite the risks of whistleblowing outlined below, however, remember that you are contributing to justice and ultimately contributing positively to society when you report illegal conduct. If you are unsure, nervous, or scared about how best to proceed, speak with one of the lawyers at Willoughby Brod, and they will be able to help you decide what is best for you.

Employer Retaliation

The biggest risk of whistleblowing is employer retaliation. California law prohibits any form of employer retaliation toward whistleblowers, but many employers try to do it anyway. Many think that if they do it in subtle ways, like slowly pushing the employee out of their role or finding another reason to demote them or decrease their pay, that there will be no consequences to them. From an even less straightforward angle, employers and fellow employees may start to become hostile toward the employee, spreading rumors about the employee, scheduling meetings only when the employee is unavailable, or ignoring the employee in social settings. However, this type of behavior is illegal. If you have been retaliated against by your employer, contact our attorneys immediately so that we can help you fight for your rights.

benjamin-child-17946-copy-300x200You blew the whistle on your employer’s illegal actions, and now your employer is retaliating against you. This is not an unusual situation, but it is an illegal one. Both federal law and California law protect whistleblower employees from employer retaliation and impose large fines on employers who choose to ignore this law. If you have been retaliated against at work for whistleblowing, you may be wondering what you can do to remedy this situation. Contact the attorneys at Willoughby Brod today to have your case reviewed for free and receive actionable next steps for what you can do in this situation.

Make Sure Your Whistleblower Actions are Protected in California

California offers general whistleblower protections that protect whistleblowers from being retaliated against by their employers for disclosing or refusing to participate in suspected illegal activities, but it also offers whistleblower protections in the following specific circumstances:

When someone identifies an act of health care fraud, it is important that they speak up. However, under the False Claims Act (FCA) the ways in which they speak up are limited by Federal law. A recent Supreme Court ruling on qui tam lawsuits arising under the FCA will have broad implications for whistleblowers.

The Background

According to the LII Supreme Court Bulletin, Benjamin Carter first filed a qui tam suit against Kellogg Brown & Root Services, Inc. (KBR) in 2006. His lawsuit alleged that KBR had fraudulently billed the United States government for water purification services that were either performed improperly or not performed at all. The District Court dismissed the complaint based on the first-to-file rule which states that when a private person brings a qui tam lawsuit under the FCA, no person can bring a related action based on the same underlying facts. In this case, Mr. Carter’s complaint was dismissed because there was a pending case with similar claims that had been filed earlier. While Mr. Carter appealed, the pending case was dismissed. Mr. Carter filed a new lawsuit, which was also dismissed for the same reason – the pending case was now pending on appeal.supreme court