Washington, D.C. Government Fraud and Whistleblower Lawyers
An individual who reports illegal activity to law enforcement or a government agency is commonly known as a whistleblower. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Whistleblower Protection Program enforces whistleblower provisions of over 20 whistleblower statutes, according to the United States Department of Labor (DOL).
Certain whistleblower claims can result in qui tam (often pronounced with some combination of “kwee” or “kee” and “tom” or “tam”) actions. These are cases in which a person brings an action on the government’s behalf but the government serves as the plaintiff.
Title 31, Section 3730 of the United States Code contains a number of provisions relating to qui tam actions that can make it difficult to file these claims. In addition to barring claims from members of the United States Armed Forces and members of the legislative, judiciary, and executive branch, this section also establishes the so-called “first to file” rule, which provides that no person can intervene or bring a related action when one person has already brought an action.
Do you believe that you could have a possible whistleblower claim in Washington, D.C.? You will want to be absolutely certain that your case is properly handled from start to finish by an experienced government fraud and whistleblower lawyer.
CHASENBOSCOLO has extensive experience protecting whistleblowers from retaliation, wrongful termination, and other negative consequences. We know how hard it can be to take a stand for what is right in the face of individuals and organizations that are looking to avoid exposure and the consequences of their misdeeds. That’s why we fight so hard to ensure that your rights are protected and your voice will be heard. Call (301) 220-0050 or contact us online to take advantage of a free consultation.
Do I Need A Government Fraud and Whistleblower Lawyer?
Certain whistleblower actions can involve very specific pleading and filing requirements. An attorney can ensure that you take all the proper steps and meet all the legal deadlines.
A lawyer will be able to conduct an independent investigation to collect all of the evidence needed for your case. They can also assist with the concealment of your identity if necessary.
Qui tam lawsuits must usually be filed under the False Claims Act, but certain cases involving other kinds of fraud may not involve lawsuits. An attorney can help individuals in such cases instead submit the necessary information to the appropriate whistleblower program.
Qualified legal representation is required for the filing of a whistleblower lawsuit. Whistleblowers must provide as much information as possible to be awarded compensation, and a lawyer can make sure that you have made an acceptable effort.
Why Choose CHASENBOSCOLO To Handle My Case?
Taking care of clients has been the first and foremost priority for CHASENBOSCOLO since our founding in 1986. We have a team of 25 attorneys and more than 90 professionals with over 100 years of combined legal experience who have recovered more than $750 million for our clients.
Barry M. Chasen and Benjamin T. Boscolo each have more than three decades of legal experience. Martindale-Hubbell has given both attorneys an AV Preeminent rating, which denotes the highest level of professional excellence.
Mr. Chasen was named to the National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyers in 2013. Mr. Boscolo is a member of the American Association for Justice.
CHASENBOSCOLO also provides the No Fee Guarantee® so you do not have to worry about affording an attorney, as you only pay when you obtain a monetary award. We will negotiate a fair and full settlement or file a lawsuit if necessary to get you just compensation.
Types of Government Fraud and Whistleblower Cases We Handle
OSHA enforces all of the following whistleblower protection statutes:
- FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) — Protects food manufacturing employees, distributors, packers, and transporters from reporting a violation of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, a regulation promulgated under it, or retaliation for refusing to participate in a practice that violates it. Must be filed within 180 days of a retaliatory action.
- Section 11(c) of the Occupational Safety & Health Act (OSH Act) — Prohibits employers from retaliating against employees for exercising rights guaranteed under the OSH Act, such as filing a safety complaint with OSHA, raising a health or safety concern with employers, participating in an OSHA inspection, or reporting a work-related injury or illness. Must be filed within 30 days of a retaliatory action.
- Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) — Protects employees who report to a state attorney, the federal government, or their employer violations of any statute or regulation within the jurisdiction of the CPSC. Must be filed within 180 days of a retaliatory action.
- Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) — Protects employees who report violations relating to asbestos in elementary and secondary school systems. Must be filed within 90 days of a retaliatory action.
- Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) — Protects employees of certain companies who report violations of federal laws related to alleged mail, wire, bank or securities fraud, violations of the SEC rules and regulations, or fraud against shareholders. Must be filed within 180 days of a retaliatory action.
- Consumer Financial Protection Act (CFPA) — Employees are protected for reporting violations of Title X of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, any provision of law under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, or any rule, order, standard, or prohibition prescribed by the Bureau. Must be filed within 180 days of a retaliatory action.
- Affordable Care Act (ACA) — Protects employees who report violations of any provision of title I of the ACA. Must be filed within 180 days of a retaliatory action.
- Clean Air Act (CAA) — Prohibits retaliation against any employee who reports violations regarding air emissions from area, stationary, and mobile sources. Must be filed within 30 days of a retaliatory action.
- Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century (AIR21) — Protects employees of air carriers who report violations of laws related to aviation safety. Must be filed within 90 days of a retaliatory action.
- Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) — Prohibits retaliation against employees who report violations relating to the cleanup of hazardous waste sites, spills, accidents, and other emergency releases of contaminants. Must be filed within 30 days of a retaliatory action.
- Surface Transportation Assistance Act (STAA) — 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. Must be filed within 180 days of a retaliatory action.
- Energy Reorganization Act (ERA) — Prohibits retaliation against employees who report violations or refuse to engage in violations of the ERA or the Atomic Energy Act. Also protects employees of contractors working with the Department of Energy under a contract pursuant to the Atomic Energy Act, and employees of operators, contractors, and subcontractors of nuclear power plants licensed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Must be filed within 180 days of a retaliatory action.
- Seaman’s Protection Act (SPA) — Protects employees who report to the Coast Guard a violation of a maritime safety law as well as seamen who refuse to work when they believe an assigned task would result in injury or impairment of health to themselves, other seamen, or the public. Must be filed within 180 days of a retaliatory action.
- Pipeline Safety Improvement Act (PSIA) — Protects employees who refuse to violate federal laws related to pipeline safety and security or report such violations. Must be filed within 180 days of a retaliatory action.
- National Transit Systems Security Act (NTSSA) — Protects transit employees who report hazardous safety or security conditions, violations of federal law relating to the safety of public transportation agencies, or the abuse of federal grants or other public funds appropriated for public transportation. NTSSA also protects public transit employees who refuse to violate a federal law related to public transportation safety or refuse to work when confronted by a hazardous safety or security condition. Must be filed within 180 days of a retaliatory action.
- Federal Water Pollution Control Act (FWPCA) — More commonly known as the “Clean Water Act,” prohibits retaliation against an employee who reports alleged violations relating to discharge of pollutants into water. Must be filed within 30 days of a retaliatory action.
- Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) — Prohibits retaliation by dealerships, part suppliers, and motor vehicle manufacturers against employees for providing information to the employer or the United States Department of Transportation about violations of the notification or reporting requirements enforced by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), noncompliance, or motor vehicle defects, or for engaging in related protected activities. Must be filed within 180 days of a retaliatory action.
- Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) — Prohibits retaliation against an employee who reports violations relating to any waters designated for drinking. Must be filed within 30 days of a retaliatory action.
- International Safe Container Act (ISCA) — Protects employees involved in international shipping who report an unsafe intermodal cargo container or another violation of the ISCA to the Coast Guard. Must be filed within 60 days of a retaliatory action.
- Federal Railroad Safety Act (FRSA) — Protects employees of railroad carriers who report a hazardous safety or security condition, federal law violations relating to railroad safety or security, or the abuse of public funds appropriated for railroad safety. Must be filed within 180 days of a retaliatory action.
- Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) — Prohibits retaliation against an employee who reports violations relating to industrial chemicals produced or imported into the United States. Must be filed within 30 days of a retaliatory action.
- Solid Waste Disposal Act (SWDA) — 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. Must be filed within 30 days of a retaliatory action.
If you do not know the act your whistleblower claim would be filed under, that is all the more reason to make sure that you have a lawyer. Do not wait to contact CHASENBOSCOLO for help exploring all of your legal options.
Frequently Asked Questions About Government Fraud and Whistleblowers
The government fraud and whistleblower attorneys at CHASENBOSCOLO get a lot of questions from clients regarding their cases. Below are answers to a few of the most common government fraud and whistleblower questions we get. We hope this provides you with some insight into your case. If you have additional questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us any time by calling (301) 220-0050.
What is a “relator”?
Whistleblowers were originally referred to as relators when President Abraham Lincoln signed the False Claims Act in March 1863. In other words, a relator is the statutory term identifying the original source of fraud against the government. While it is not common in regular conversation, relator may still be used by some courts in describing whistleblowers.
What happens if I participated in the wrongdoing I am reporting?
It is far from uncommon for whistleblowers to be people who were aware of criminal activity and participated in it to some degree. While personal feelings of guilt may ultimately compel these people to do the right thing, some participation in a criminal activity does not necessarily mean that a person will be barred from recovering a reward. In many cases, the government needs the assistance of such individuals for prosecuting the masterminds of such schemes. Participation in criminal activities is not always knowing, and while awards may be reduced in some cases of substantial participation, they are prohibited only when an individual actually planned or initiated fraud.
What does it mean when my case is “under seal”?
In accordance with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, some qui tam actions may be filed confidentially under seal in federal district court. This typically indicates that the information involved is extremely sensitive, and a person can only discuss their case with their lawyer and the Department of Justice. Any discussion of such cases while they are under seal risks irreparable damage to the cases that can possibly forfeit any potential awards. A whistleblower’s identity will often remain anonymous while a case is under seal but may be revealed after the case concludes and becomes public record.
Contact a Government Fraud and Whistleblower Attorney in Washington, D.C.
If you think that you might have a possible whistleblower claim regarding illegal government activity in Washington, D.C., do not take any chances attempting to handle your case on your own. CHASENBOSCOLO understands the stress that people involved in these cases deal with, and we will do whatever we can to help take the pressure off of you.
Our firm represents clients all over the greater Washington, D.C. area. We can assess all of your legal options when you call (301) 220-0050 or contact us online to set up a free consultation.