Jan 17, 2017
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Many Americans witness wrongdoing on their job. They may discover waste, fraud, abuse or an illegal act that could endanger the lives or well-being of others. In response to financial scandals of the past decade, Congress enacted two major laws that protect whistleblowers, the Sarbanes Oxley Act and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
Most employees remain silent because they are afraid they will lose their jobs. Others step up and become a whistleblower (an employee that discloses information that he or she reasonably believes is dishonest or illegal). There are many things for employees to think about in such a situation, including where, when and how to blow the whistle. FDPK’s employment team can assist you in making the proper decisions.
Despite the fact that the law clearly provides that an employer is not to retaliate against an employee who becomes a whistleblower, employers often demote or terminate employees who have spoken up. Our legal team is prepared to represent employees who have had action taken against them after reporting a wrongdoing.
FDPK lawyers represent employees who have been demoted or terminated from their jobs after they reported wrongdoing or waste to employers that receive government funds, or to governmental agencies.
Not all whistleblowing employees are protected, so it is best to seek advice of an attorney before you talk to a supervisor or government agency about:
An employee does not have to be absolutely certain about the wrongdoing in order to be protected from retaliation. The employee must have a good-faith, reasonable belief about what he or she is reporting. If your employer takes action against you for blowing the whistle, you may be able to recover your lost wages and lost benefits, as well as other types of damages.
In some cases, whistleblower protection laws also provide for punitive or exemplary damages, which are intended to punish the wrongdoer and to discourage others from similar misconduct. Most whistleblower protection laws allow for an employee who has brought a successful whistleblower claim to recover litigation costs, including attorneys’ fees.
There may be time limits on when and how to bring your claim, so it is best if you seek legal assistance promptly. Contact Ed Feinstein or Deborah Marcuse if you have questions about a whistleblower claim.