Government Fraud and Whistleblower Claims
The term whistleblower refers to a person who reports unlawful conduct by a company or organization. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has a Whistleblower Protection Program that enforces the whistleblower provisions of over 20 whistleblower statutes protecting employees who report law violations.
Certain whistleblower claims can result in qui tam (pronunciations usually including some combination of “kwee” or “kee” and “tom” or “tam”) actions, which are cases in which an individual brings an action on the government’s behalf but the government is the actual plaintiff. Whistleblower claims can be extremely stressful for individuals who often have major concerns about the possible consequences of reporting such behaviors.
If you think that you might have a possible whistleblower claim in Maryland, be sure that you are working with experienced legal representation. Let CHASENBOSCOLO help you determine the best way to proceed with your case.
Our firm is prepared to take on companies and organizations of all sizes. We will examine your case as soon as you call (301) 220-0050 or contact us online to receive a free consultation.
Do I Need a Government Fraud and Whistleblower Claims Lawyer?
Whistleblower claims are very complex and have specific pleading and filing requirements that need to be followed. You are going to want to have an attorney to ensure your case is being handled in the right way.
Some cases will require filing qui tam lawsuits under the False Claims Act, but other cases involving other types of fraud will not involve lawsuits. Instead, people will have to submit information to the appropriate whistleblower program, and a lawyer can make sure that all of the required information is transmitted.
Keep in mind that qualified legal representation is required for the filing of a lawsuit. Another major reason to have an attorney concerns anonymity, as many whistleblowers will want to try to keep their identities secret.
A lawyer can ensure that all steps are taken to try and conceal your identity when possible. Whistleblower claims usually require people to provide as much information as possible for them to be awarded compensation, and an attorney will know how to make sure that you have submitted all relevant information that is needed.
Why Choose [Firm-Name] To Handle My Case?
CHASENBOSCOLO has recovered over $750 million for our clients since our firm’s founding in 1986. Our firm includes 25 attorneys and over 90 professionals with more than 100 years of combined legal experience.
Barry M. Chasen and Benjamin T. Boscolo each have over 30 years of legal experience. Both have received an AV Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell, denoting the highest level of professional excellence.
Every CHASENBOSCOLO client receives the No Fee Guarantee® so there is nothing paid upfront and nothing is owed unless you get a monetary award. We make ourselves available to our clients 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Our firm can negotiate a just settlement to your case that covers all of your past, present, and future expenses. CHASENBOSCOLO will not hesitate to file a lawsuit when settlement negotiations are unproductive, and we went to court for our clients more than 500 times in a span of five years.
Types Of Government Fraud and Whistleblower Claim Cases We Handle
The whistleblower protection statutes enforced by OSHA include:
- Section 11(c) of the Occupational Safety & Health Act (OSH Act) — Must be filed within 30 days of a retaliatory action. This section prohibits employers from retaliating against employees for exercising rights guaranteed under the OSH Act such as reporting a work-related injury or illness, participating in an OSHA inspection, raising a health and safety concern with their employers, or filing a safety or health complaint with OSHA.
- Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) — Must be filed within 90 days of a retaliatory action. This section protects employees who report violations relating to asbestos in public or private non-profit elementary and secondary school systems.
- Clean Air Act (CAA) — Must be filed within 30 days of a retaliatory action. This section prohibits retaliation against any employee who reports violations regarding air emissions from area, stationary, and mobile sources.
- Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) — Must be filed within 30 days of a retaliatory action. This section prohibits retaliation against an employee who reports violations relating to cleanup of hazardous waste sites, as well as accidents, spills, and other emergency releases of pollutants and contaminants.
- Energy Reorganization Act (ERA) — Must be filed within 180 days of a retaliatory action. This section prohibits retaliation against an employee who reports violations or refuses to engage in violations of the ERA or the Atomic Energy Act. It also protects employees of operators of nuclear power plants licensed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and people working for the Department of Energy under a contract pursuant to the Atomic Energy Act.
- Federal Water Pollution Control Act (FWPCA) — Must be filed within 30 days of a retaliatory action. Also known as the “Clean Water Act,” this section prohibits retaliation against an employee who reports violations relating to water pollution.
- Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) — Must be filed within 30 days of a retaliatory action. This section prohibits retaliation against an employee who reports violations relating to any waters actually or potentially designated for drinking.
- Solid Waste Disposal Act (SWDA) — Must be filed within 30 days of a retaliatory action. This section, also known as the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, prohibits retaliation against an employee who reports violations relating to the disposal of solid and hazardous waste at active and future facilities.
- Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) — Must be filed within 30 days of a retaliatory action. This section prohibits retaliation against an employee who reports violations relating to industrial chemicals produced or imported into the United States.
- Federal Railroad Safety Act (FRSA) — Must be filed within 180 days of a retaliatory action. This section protects employees of railroad carriers and their contractors and subcontractors who report the abuse of public funds appropriated for railroad safety, a violation of any federal law or regulation relating to railroad safety or security, or a hazardous safety or security condition.
- International Safe Container Act (ISCA) — Must be filed within 60 days of a retaliatory action. This section protects employees involved in international shipping who report an unsafe intermodal cargo container or another violation of the ISCA to the Coast Guard.
- Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) — Must be filed within 180 days of a retaliatory action. This section prohibits retaliation by motor vehicle manufacturers, part suppliers, and dealerships against employees for providing information to the employer or the United States Department of Transportation about motor vehicle defects, noncompliance, or for reporting requirements enforced by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
- National Transit Systems Security Act (NTSSA) — Must be filed within 180 days of a retaliatory action. This section protects transit employees who report the abuse of federal grants or other public funds appropriated for public transportation, a violation of any federal law relating to public transportation agency safety, or hazardous safety or security conditions. NTSSA also protects public transit employees who refuse to work when there is a hazardous safety condition or refuse to violate a federal law related to public transportation.
- Pipeline Safety Improvement Act (PSIA) — Must be filed within 180 days of a retaliatory action. This section protects employees who refuse to violate federal laws related to pipeline safety and security or report such violations.
- Seaman’s Protection Act (SPA) — Must be filed within 180 days of a retaliatory action. This section protects employees who report to the Coast Guard or another federal agency a violation of a maritime safety law or regulation as well as seamen who refuse to work when they reasonably believe a work task would result in injury or disease to themselves, other seamen, or the public.
- Surface Transportation Assistance Act (STAA) — Must be filed within 180 days of a retaliatory action. This section protects truck drivers and other employees who report violations of regulations related to the safety of commercial motor vehicles or refuse to violate the regulations.
- Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century (AIR21) — Must be filed within 90 days of a retaliatory action. This section protects employees of air carriers and contractors and subcontractors of air carriers who report violations of laws related to aviation safety.
- Affordable Care Act (ACA) — Must be filed within 180 days of a retaliatory action. This section protects employees who report violations of any provision of title I of the ACA.
- Consumer Financial Protection Act (CFPA) — Must be filed within 180 days of a retaliatory action. Employees are protected for reporting violations of any provision of the Title X of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act or any other provision of law that is subject to the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Consumer Financial, Protection, or any rule, order, standard, or prohibition prescribed by the Bureau.
- Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) — Must be filed within 180 days of a retaliatory action. This section protects employees of some companies who report violations of federal laws related to fraud against shareholders, violations of the SEC rules and regulations, or alleged mail, wire, bank or securities fraud.
- Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) — Must be filed within 180 days of a retaliatory action. This section protects employees who report to their employer, the federal government, or a state attorney violations of any statute or regulation within the jurisdiction of the CPSC.
- FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) — Must be filed within 180 days of a retaliatory action. This section protects employees of food manufacturers, distributors, packers, and transporters from reporting a violation of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, or a regulation promulgated under it. Employees are also protected from retaliation for refusing to participate in a practice that violates the Act.
When you are not certain what act your own whistleblower claim would be filed under, an attorney can help you determine the applicable law.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Government Fraud and Whistleblower Claims
If you have questions about whistleblowing, how to protect yourself from retaliation, or any other questions related to a government fraud claim, be sure to reach out to CHASENBOSCOLO for help right away. We’re here to answer your questions and protect your rights. Call us at (301) 220-0050 to discuss the specifics of your case, and read a few frequently asked questions below.
What is a “relator”?
The word relator was the original term for whistleblowers when President Abraham Lincoln signed the False Claims Act in March 1863. Relator is the statutory term that identifies the original source of fraud against the government. Because whistleblower was not a term that was used when the laws were written, relator is often used by many courts to describe whistleblowers.
What happens if I participated in the wrongdoing I am reporting?
Your own participation in a criminal activity does not necessarily prohibit you from recovering a reward. In most cases, the government needs the help of people directly involved in government fraud to prosecute the actual offenders. Not all people’s participation in criminal activities was necessarily knowing. Rewards can be reduced when a person’s participation in a criminal activity was substantial, but awards are only prohibited when a person actually planned or initiated a fraud scheme.
Are there legal remedies for retaliation against whistleblowers?
Retaliatory actions are generally prohibited against whistleblowers, but some whistleblowers can still be fired, transferred, or demoted. Whistleblowers who have been subject to such retaliatory actions could be entitled to reinstatement, double back pay, and other special damages. Retaliation claims are usually separate actions. Retaliation protections can differ depending on the applicable whistleblower statute.
Contact a Government Fraud and Whistleblower Claims Attorney In Maryland
Do you think that you might have a possible whistleblower claim in Maryland? Make sure that you contact CHASENBOSCOLO as soon as possible.
Our firm understands the fear the people feel when reporting these claims, but we can help take all of the stress off of you. Call (855) 752-9146 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.