Whistleblower Retaliation Lawyers
Table of Contents
Winning a Whistleblower Retaliation Case
A whistleblower is any individual who exposes secretive activities or information that is deemed to be unethical, illegal, or simply not correct within any organization whether private or public. This information alleging wrongdoing could be classified in a number of ways:
- A violation of company rules/policy,
- A violation of law(s),
- A violation of regulation(s),
- A threat to national security or public interest,
Unfortunately, whistleblowers are running the risk of facing reprisal and retaliation from the parties who are being accused of alleged of wrongdoing. If you’re a whistleblower, you could have some serious concerns about more than just the fact that you may be rocking the boat a bit. Whistleblower retaliation can take on many forms including but not limited to:
- Loss of a well-deserved promotion,
- Loss of your job,
- Negative evaluations,
- Pay cuts.
There are a number of more subtle actions that are also considered to be whistleblower retaliation, including but not limited to:
- Blacklisting (intentional interference with a whistleblowing employee’s abilities for obtaining future employment),
- Constructive discharge (when a whistleblowing employee quits because his or her employer is making the working conditions intolerable because of the employee’s protected whistleblowing activity),
- Falsely accusing a whistleblowing employee of poor performance
Why a Whistleblower Retaliation Attorney is Necessary
It’s a fact that as many as 33 percent of whistleblowers end up experiencing some form of retaliation. In addition, you’re simply not protected from any adverse actions that may be related to your employment even if completely unrelated to your disclosures. Unfortunately, all too often, revocation of your security clearance, demotions, or many other adverse actions are actually trumped-up and veiled retaliation for instigating scrutiny of unlawful activities. And, that’s why federal whistleblower laws were designed. And, in spite of the fact that retaliation and whistleblower claims are generally discussed interchangeably, and employer whistleblower claims often involve retaliation, there’s still quite a difference between those two claims types. What are they?
Whistleblowers can bring their accusations to the attention of other people within the organization that’s accused i.e. an immediate supervisor.
Type #2- Externally
Whistleblowers could bring their allegations to light via contact with a third party outside of the accused organization i.e. government, law enforcement, or media. However, in this case, whistleblowers are running the risk of retaliation and severe reprisal from those alleged or accused of wrongdoing.
About Federal Laws for Whistleblower Protection
There are a number of Federal laws aimed at protecting agents, contractors, and employees against reprisals and retaliation. The most significant ones include:
- The Dodd Frank Act (DFA) for protecting whistleblowers from retaliation when they have engaged in providing information to the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, the Commodities Futures Trading Commission, or the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
- The Federal False Claims Act (FCA) for protecting qui tam whistleblowers from retaliation when they have complained about or opposed government fraud.
- The Sarbanes Oxley Act (SOX) for protecting whistleblowers against retaliation when they complained about violations of bank fraud, federal laws related to defrauding shareholders, mail fraud, securities fraud, or wire fraud as well as other violations of SEC rules and regulations.
- The Whistleblower Protection Act (WPA) for protecting whistleblowers who are federal government employees from retaliation when they have reported any agency misconduct.
There are a number of activities under the Whistleblower Protection Act and the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act that are specifically protected against whistleblower retaliation, including the following:
- Being a Federal Employee
These individuals have strong (but not necessarily unlimited) whistleblower protection. There is a great deal at stake for anyone who has built their career working for the federal government. That’s why, prior to reporting wrongdoing or exercising employment rights, federal employees should ensure that they won’t be jeopardizing their job, benefits, and/or career.
- Filing a Report with Your Employer
This includes reporting any:
- Abuse of authority,
- Criminal acts,
- Law violation(s),
- Mismanagement and/or waste of government funds.
- Specific and/or substantial danger to public safety,
- Threats to scientific research integrity
This includes censorship or data manipulation for example.
- Refusal to engage in any unlawful practice(s)
This occurs if you have informed your employers that you believe they’re violating the law.
- Cooperating with an internal investigation
This included assisting with an investigation or the preparation and/or testifying.
This includes testifying before Congress or the EEOC as well as any state or federal proceedings as well as preparing to testify.
It’s important to have knowledge of which activities are protected when it comes to retaliation. Many protections are actually universal for any/all federal employees, whereas some whistleblower rules are purely agency-specific. Determining whether you’re protected or not can be very difficult. That’s why retaining a federal whistleblower attorney> is so crucial.
The Right Whistleblower Retaliation Lawyers
This step is something that could make all the difference in the world for you and your family. In the event that your whistleblower rights are violated, the method for remedying is to begin seeking justice and that means talking to an experienced federal whistleblower attorney.
That’s because proving whistleblower retaliation can often involve a string of complex analysis and legal questions. When you don’t have professional legal help, being able to prove a whistleblower retaliation case could be a challenge. For winning your case, usually you must demonstrate:
- Having suffered retaliation following conduct protected by any whistleblower law;
- In the case that an employer was put on notice and was aware that you were engaged in protected whistleblower activity; and,
- Your employer is retaliating against you based upon your protected whistleblower activity.
You could then be entitled to significant compensation after proving your case. That compensation may vary and depends upon the specific whistleblower laws that may apply to your case. The most common damage types include:
- Back pay i.e. any amounts of money (in the past) that you would have earned if it had not been for the whistleblower retaliation. This could include back wages payment as well as any employee benefits.
- Compensatory Damages
- Future pay i.e. what you would’ve earned in the future, including lost pay and employee benefits.
- Liquidated damages i.e. an amount of money designated for punishing an employer and deterring the violation of future whistleblower rights. This could include double the amount of back pay received.
Know the Risks and Sacrifice
When you decide to become a whistleblower, you’ll be taking a professional risk and it can also be a serious personal sacrifice as well. That’s why you want to give it a great deal of serious thought and also ensure that you’re properly represented by a federal whistleblower retaliation attorney. It’s important to remember that not all types of whistle blowing activities are protected and your rights regarding legal protection are dependent upon any specific whistleblowing laws that could be applied to your case.
If you feel that you have been a whistleblower retaliation victim, quickly seeking the legal advice of a federal whistleblower retaliation attorney<h/2> is important.
Is it a Viable Whistleblower Case?
The first thing that a whistleblower retaliation lawyer will do is make a determination regarding your case and if it’s a good one.
In order to build a strong case will require detailed investigation as well as a carefully thought-out plan of action for success, which would include:
(1.) Identification of all important documents, witnesses, and evidence for discovering the unique circumstances and facts of your case.
(2.) Implementation of a proactive plan for helping with protecting you from any future retaliation
(3.) Instigating legal action (where necessary) for compensating you for any injuries and/or your losses.
Each Case Needs a Unique Strategy
The ultimate success of your case will be dependent upon which whistleblower retaliation laws are applicable in your case. It’s important to remember that whistleblower laws can be very complex. Each and every case requires a strategy tailored to the unique facts and whistleblower laws that apply to your case.
The Key to Winning Your Case
Working with a skilled federal whistleblower retaliation attorney is the key to winning your whistleblower case. It’s critical that you act quickly, however, since whistleblower retaliation cases offer some extremely short deadlines. In fact, if you happen to miss just one of them, your case could get thrown out. When you became a whistleblower, you took a stand for doing the right thing. Now you need to make sure that someone stands up for you and protects your rights. That’s where a professional whistleblower retaliation attorney comes in. The whistleblower protection laws, both federal and state, give all whistleblowers the freedom of protection against harrassment, discrimination, and reprisal. They also give all whistleblowers the legal right for asserting a claim and filing a private lawsuit in the event they end up suffering any form of retaliation for blowing the whistle and doing the right thing.
Our experience in the area of whistleblower protection and litigation strategies provides us with the requisite knowledge to tackle high-level cases with serious implications. As our client, you will receive the most effective legal advocate available when you have one of our lawyers represent you in court.
Experienced legal advice is critical when determining the legal protection that can be afforded you. If your actions are protected under the law, we can represent you in your legal fight against a powerful adversary. We understand the complexities that are often involved in these types of legal cases. We bring decades of experience as trial lawyers and as practitioners within the DOJ. Our team is fully capable of dealing with any type of whistleblower retaliation that you may be facing. Contact us online to make a confidential appointment, or simply call our federal whistleblower case line at 888-402-4054.