State and Federal Laws Provide Protection for Whistleblowers
D'Orazio Peterson has experience working with whistleblowers in a variety of employment situations. Often employees are afraid to come forward for fear of retaliation, however the law often protects workers who report illegal conduct.
D'Orazio Peterson asserts claims on behalf of employee whistleblowers in cases involving railworkers, Federal or State government contractors, health care providers and others. Because these cases and the law applying to each are so different, it is strongly suggested that if you are a whistleblower you contact an attorney immediately to protect your rights.
Often when people hear the word “whistleblower” they think of someone like Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor who was in the news for his efforts at bringing to light what he perceived as severe violations of personal privacy by the government. Snowden's situation made news for multiple reasons—not the least of which was the vast amount of information in his possession.
In reality, most whistleblowers (and whistleblower lawsuits) do not command the national (and international) attention of an Edward Snowden. That being said, however, this does not make their cases any less socially important.
Whistleblowers play an extremely important role in society—they are often responsible for bringing illegal conduct to light (which may have gone on for years and years) and would likely have continued had they not come forward.
Whistleblowers' Important Role in Society Can't Be Understated
Whistleblowers can come forward with proof of illegal conduct in almost any business or field. We frequently see them in fields such as automobile manufacturing and production; finance; government contracts; Medicaid/Medicare fraud; construction, and others. One common thread among most cases is the strength of the whistleblower—the individual who is willing to put their career (and sometimes more) at risk to do the right thing.
State and Federal Laws offer a variety of protections to whistleblowers, including protection from retaliation and often the possibility of receiving a financial benefit in the event of a recovery—but it is also important to note that whistleblowers are not always protected. In New York State, for example, whistleblowers are generally only protected if the matter about which they are complaining relates to health care, or otherwise relates to a substantial public health hazard.
It Is Important to Note: Whistleblowers Are Not Always Protected
An example of the type of activity that may be protected in New York is an employee of an asbestos removal company, who makes a complaint about illegal and dangerous removal and is thereafter fired. That employee may be able to prove that he was terminated for having blown (or threatened to blow) the whistle on the employer's illegal conduct.
In the Federal system, Qui Tam actions—or actions on behalf of the government—are brought by whistleblowers who have information that a company/entity is improperly receiving government benefits, whether through illegal conduct, improper methods, or other illegal activity. Qui tam cases are very technical, and require that a potential action be submitted to the Department of Justice for consideration prior to being filed in court. It is therefore very important to speak with an experienced whistleblower attorney before taking any action.
Qui Tam Cases Are Very Technical—Speak to a Lawyer First
At D'Orazio Peterson we respect the courage of whistleblowers, and we believe in fighting for them.
If you have information about a business that you believe may allow you to pursue a whistleblower action give us a call.