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Whistleblower Retaliation Attorney DC
A Whistleblower Retaliation Attorney DC residents can depend on from the Federal Practice Group knows that whistleblowing comes with career risks and personal sacrifices. But the most important thing we want you to know is that you deserve to be protected from retaliation for speaking up. Whistleblower protection laws safeguard people from harassment, discrimination, and reprisal. Whistleblowers have the right to submit a lawsuit privately or assert a claim when they suffer retaliation for whistleblowing. If you or someone you love was treated adversely because of whistleblowing, now is the time to act. Call us at the Federal Practice Group for more information.
When someone is demoted, threatened, suspended, discharged, harassed, intimidated, or endured a hostile work environment for whistleblowing, they are likely facing whistleblower retaliation. As your attorney may tell you during a consultation, activities that are protected by law fall into these categories:
- Reporting a complaint regarding a violation of the law for an employer or government agency
- Filing a lawsuit or other legal process
- Testifying by providing statements within a legal proceeding
- Opposing or refusing to perform an unlawful task
Not every form of whistleblowing is protected, so your right to be safeguarded will depend on the laws that apply to your situation. If you are unsure whether you are the victim of retaliation, the best thing you can do is meet with a DC Whistleblower Retaliation Attorney from the Federal Practice group as soon as possible. We can provide guidance and intervene if needed.
Choose an Experienced Attorney
If your rights as a whistleblower have been violated, begin seeking justice by talking with an attorney that is knowledgeable in handling cases like these. Proving that retaliation happened is going to involve thorough investigations and careful review of the evidence. Successful outcomes may be challenging without an experienced attorney. If you don’t get legal help, then proving what you have endured after reporting an unlawful incident will be extremely difficult. The truth is, an attorney with years of experience and study will be able to outperform someone who is not familiar with the nature of whistleblower cases. To win the case, you must show:
- That you suffered retaliation after participating in conduct that is protected under whistleblower law;
- That your employer was aware you were engaging in protected activity;
- And that your employer retaliation for whistleblowing
Questions to Ask As a Whistleblower
What is a whistleblower?
We understand that it is intimidating to be considered a whistleblower, a whistleblower has evidence of fraud, legal misconduct, or something else that would make the company look bad if it were released to the public. In fact, to be a whistleblower you do not need to be associated with the company at all, you do not need to work there. As long as your information is solid you’re considered a whistleblower.
What are the details of the False Claims Act or FCA?
Whistleblower laws were put into place by Pres. Abraham Lincoln, in the first whistleblower law was brought into effect in an effort to curb contractor fraud during the Civil War. This means that the false claims act or FCA is often referred to as the Lincoln law. The FCA allows normal people to bring whistleblower cases, and it enables them to achieve rewards for 15 to 30% of the amount that the government may recover.
What kind of cases can be brought under the FCA?
If you are able to certify that a company is not in compliance with the law, with significant truth, you can bring your proof under the FCA. If you can prove that a company has been submitting bills or claims for services or products that are not defective misrepresentative or that are not provided at all, you may be able to bring your claims up under the FCA. If your company has obtained a government contract for the use of kickbacks, bribes and falsifications, then you have a case under the FCA.
There is so much more that constitutes a case to be brought under the FCA, but these are just some common examples.
What does qui tam mean?
Qui tam is shorthand for a longer Latin phrase that means “the one who sues both for the king and for himself as well.” Essentially when you bring this kind of suit before the law, you are suing the fraudster on behalf of the government. This puts you in the position of “being the realtor” otherwise known as the case to the court. The government always has the last say as to whether they will intervene or take part in this kind of a lawsuit, and the realtor and whistleblower always has the choice to continue or not should the government decide to decline.
What are the whistleblowing statutes of limitations?
You want to report fraud as soon as you can. Depending on the type of whistleblowing law you are acting under, there are different statutes of limitation which is the period of time by which a claim has to be filed. If you missed this filing you may rest your claim not being actionable. Do not delay in bringing the case.
Typically filing must occur within six years of the date that fraud has been committed, or three years after the time when the government knew the fraud existed.
You want to be a whistleblower but you had a part in the fraud; what now?
You can still file a whistleblower cane claim even if you had a part in the fraud. If you are successful when you participate without your knowledge or under duress, then you may still receive a reward. Generally a whistleblower may not enter a claim they planned or caused the fraud and are convicted.
The Federal Practice Group
With our help, we can work to get you significant compensation for employer retaliation. The kinds of compensation you may be eligible to receive will vary upon the whistleblower laws that are applicable to your case. The most common types of damages for whistleblower retaliation include back pay, front pay, compensatory damages, and liquidated damages. To find out if you are entitled to this compensation, call The Federal Practice Group today to reserve your brief, free initial consultation with a Whistleblower Retaliation Attorney in DC.
Whistleblowers: What You Should Know
Working with a whistleblower retaliation attorney, DC employees depend on is the most appropriate way to manage issues related to whistleblower activities. As an employee facing retaliation in the wake of exposing your organization, you may be facing possible retaliation. Exposing wrongdoing can undoubtedly be a trying time, and coming forward was likely very difficult to do. When managing retaliation, it’s only natural that people may make some common mistakes. Not only can the Federal Practice Group help you avoid them, but our team can also help you face your retaliation case head-on.
What is a whistleblower?
A whistleblower is an employee of either a business or government entity who comes forward to report the wrongdoings. The actions of a whistleblower are critical as they expose criminal and unethical activity. Often people frown upon someone who comes forward reporting such information. However, actions taken by whistleblowers should be seen as a heroic act as information uncovered can bring about change within an organization, for example:
- Fraud is often uncovered as a result of whistleblowing
- Often, those coming forward can provide essential pieces of information
- Instills real change to company culture and work environments
There are many benefits when whistleblowers come forward; however, it’s only natural for many to worry over the consequences they may face if they do so. While there are many legal protections available for whistleblowers through The Whistleblower Protection Act, it’s still possible for employees to face ramifications such as poor treatment and retaliation in the workplace. To ensure that you receive every possible protection, start by speaking with a whistleblower retaliation attorney in DC.
Common Mistakes to Avoid
While the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 has protections for whistleblowers that may mitigate retaliation, it’s still possible for an employee to face such grave consequences. Employees who have come forward should carefully strategize their next steps by avoiding these common mistakes:
- Failing to consult with an attorney immediately
- Not gathering as much evidence as possible
- Not filing a complaint with OSHA within the 30-day timeframe
- Failing to understand the procedural process and the proper steps that must be taken
You could be facing substantial losses, causing both financial loss and emotional harm. While no person should experience such mistreatment, it’s not uncommon, and you will require someone who can help with navigating the process. Retaliation can follow a whistleblower complaint and can result in:
- Job Loss
- Reduced Salary
- Disciplinary Measures
Workplace Retaliation: How to Prove Your Claim
A DC whistleblower retaliation attorney knows that most employer-employee relationships are governed by the at-will employment doctrine. Essentially this doctrine holds that an employer has the right to fire an employee at any time for any reason (or for no reason at all) and that conversely, an employee has the right to quit their job at any time and for any reason (or for no reason at all). However, under federal law, there are a few important exceptions to this general rule. For example, consider the following two exceptions:
- The Public Policy Exception: An employer may not fire (or in some other way retaliate) against an employee for a reason that violates the fundamental principles of public policy. For example, courts have found that it is illegal for an employer to retaliate against an employee for invoking their statutory right to collect workers’ compensation benefits because allowing such retaliation to stand would contravene public policy.
- The Whistleblower Exception: The federal government has a whistleblower statute that protects employees who refuse to participate in illegal activities, or who disclose illegal activities, from employer retaliation. For example, if an employee reports that their employer is violating our state’s employment laws it is illegal for the employer to retaliate against the whistleblowing employee.
In order to establish a retaliation claim, a whistleblower retaliation attorney in DC must be able to prove each of the following three elements:
- That he/she engaged in a protected activity.
- That he/she experienced an adverse employment action.
- That a causal link existed between the protected activity and the adverse employment action.
Element number one, proving that the plaintiff (i.e., the person suing) engaged in a protected activity generally isn’t too challenging to establish. This is accomplished by citing the legal authority that protects the activity at issue and then by providing evidence establishing that the plaintiff did in fact engage in the protected activity.
Similarly, element number two, showing that the plaintiff experienced an adverse employment action, is also frequently easy to prove. An adverse employment action can be anything from receiving a poor review to being fired; the key is simply to provide evidence sufficient to show that the employer executed an action (or actions) that negatively impacted the employee’s employment.
In most retaliation cases proving element number three, that there was a causal link between the protected activity and the adverse employment action, is the most challenging. In order to satisfy this element, the DC whistleblower retaliation attorney must show that the employer executed the adverse employment action because the plaintiff engaged in the protected activity. It can be tricky to establish this causal link, but experienced employment law attorneys are often able to do so through timeline evidence showing that similar adverse or disciplinary employment actions were not taken against the plaintiff until after they engaged in the protected activity.
Get Help Today
When it comes to doing the right thing, blowing the whistle is not always easy. While it may be the morally and ethically right thing to do, you may be in for a hard time when it comes to how your co-workers and supervisor treat you. We believe in defending those who stepped up and made brave decisions when they saw something that was wrong. If you are interested in seeing how we can help you, reach out to our office to set up a consultation.
How can we create a strategy for you?
Showing that a person was harmed through retaliation is more than just showing your boss made you feel bad. Instead, we show how you went out of your way to sacrifice your career to do what is right and how you are being treated poorly through things like promotion denials, harassment, demotion, or others.
Is retaliation always illegal?
Not necessarily. In some instances, it is possible for your workplace to legally retaliate against you without giving you the opportunity to fight back. If you have concerns about this, you should speak with a lawyer and disclose what statement you initially made and what kind of retaliation you have been experiencing. That said, there are protected categories of disclosure. Some of these are:
- You blow the whistle on a danger to the safety or health of the public
- You show that gross mismanagement has occurred
- You show that the law or a regulation was broken
These are just a few of the protected topics you can blow the whistle on.
What kinds of damages can a whistleblower seek?
When you are looking to get compensated for the retaliation you are experiencing, you may be able to get damages for lost past and future wages, damage that was done to your reputation, the emotional stress you have gone through, and punitive damages. Many people realize that blowing the whistle on something bad in their company may harm their current job there but it is also possible your current employer will attempt to make you unemployable by others. This can ruin a person’s life and you should know that you have rights and that you can fight back with the help of our team.
When you meet with your attorney, come prepared with the timeframe of your allegations, why you lodged your complaint in the first place, and what happened immediately following the complaint and by whom.
Let Us Help
It can be challenging to come forward and blow the whistle for wrongdoing that may be occurring in the workplace. Whistleblower protections are in place to provide those who come forward with certain protections to mitigate the risk of retaliation. Despite this, retaliation might still occur, and the impact can be devastating. It may be possible for victims of retaliation to retain damages for their losses, and the Federal Practice Group is available to assist. Do not hesitate to take action by contacting a DC whistleblower retaliation attorney you can rely on.