A "whistleblower" is a person, many times an employee of a business, who has knowledge of illegal business practices and reports that information to the government. There are many delicate matters involved in how whistleblowing occurs, and any prospective whistleblower will want the assistance of an experienced whistleblower lawyer.
At Brown & Lipinsky LLP, our Inland Empire employment attorneys represent clients in California and federal whistleblower actions. We have more than 100 years of combined experience in employment law, and we can bring that knowledge to bear for you. For more information about how we can help you navigate the whistleblower process, call 866-968-8241 or contact us online.
If you are the victim of a retaliation lawsuit due to your involvement in whistleblowing, our attorneys can help you protect your rights: retaliatory discipline or dismissal is illegal.
You Can Trust Our San Bernardino County Qui Tam Lawyers
Whistleblowing that exposes fraud perpetrated against the state is known as qui tam. Informing the government about this activity can save taxpayers large sums of money. It is the right thing to do, but you should understand all the facts before you jump in with both feet.
The California False Claims Act and its federal counterparts provide a monetary incentive for people to report fraud. In many cases, the whistleblower recovers a percentage of any settlement or judgment in the case. The amount can range from 15 percent to 50 percent depending on the circumstances. Some whistleblowers have received millions of dollars as compensation.
Potential Rewards for Whistleblowing
Aside from feeling good about doing the right thing, some of the benefits of calling the attention of the government to wrongdoing include:
- Settlement share or other monetary compensation: Both California state and federal whistleblower laws provide for the possibility of paying whistleblowers cash from settlements or judgments. Consideration is given to points such as the grievousness of the fraud and the time it took to report it when determining these payments.
- Protection from employer retaliation: Legal protection from termination and demotion at work is an important component of whistleblower laws. In general, a whistleblower cannot be fired for alerting authorities to wrongdoing.
Be Aware: There Are Potential Risks
While the rewards of a whistleblower or qui tam action are great if the suit is successful, there are risks involved in filing a whistleblower action. Employers may not look favorably on employees who blow the whistle. While it is illegal for employers to retaliate, it is possible that other employees or managers will make life difficult.
Furthermore, not all whistleblower or qui tam lawsuits are successful. It is possible to meet the initial requirements for a qui tam action only to have the lawsuit dismissed or dropped later in the legal process. Under these circumstances, the whistleblower may recover nothing, yet still be forced to endure an unpleasant work environment.
Experienced Attorneys Protecting the Rights of Employees
If you have information that you are considering sharing with the government about the illegal activities of your employer, our attorneys want to hear from you. Brown & Lipinsky represents clients throughout the Inland Empire and Southern California. Contact us online or call 866-968-8241 for more information.