Reporting your employer for engaging in illegal or unethical activity is a difficult task for one person to handle alone. Fortunately, there are protections in place to shield you from any form of retaliation from your employer.
At O’Connor, Acciani & Levy, our injury lawyers understand the risks you are taking in reporting fraud. Our Columbus whistleblower lawyers are experienced in handling these types of cases and can help you file a successful qui tam lawsuit and recover the full amount of compensation you deserve as a whistleblower. Schedule a free and confidential consultation today. We do not get paid unless you do.
WHAT IS A WHISTLEBLOWER?
Reporting fraudulent or illegal activity may seem like a cut-and-dry act to some. However, filing a whistleblower claim can be a complex process that often requires the guidance of an experienced attorney.
Under the False Claims Act, individuals are encouraged to report evidence of illegal or fraudulent actions against the federal government. This can include:
- Using bribes or kickbacks to win contracts
- Charging for excessive fees or for more work than was completed
- Selling defective products
- Endangering workers
These types of actions, and others, can occur in almost every industry, and by coming forward and filing a qui tam lawsuit, whistleblowers help ensure that fair and safe practices are being followed. In order to have a successful claim, the information has to be backed by evidence and be previously unknown.
By reporting fraudulent or illegal activity under the False Claim Act, you are acting on behalf of the U.S. government to bring an end to a corrupt practice.
Since you are helping the federal government, you may be entitled to a portion of the money recovered. This could include up to 15 to 30 percent of the recovery, depending on if the government joins your case or not.
Having legal representation is important if you are attempting to report fraudulent or illegal activity. Our Columbus whistleblower attorneys are well-versed in the many guidelines, timelines and other regulations you must follow when filing a qui tam lawsuit. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.
LAWS THAT PROTECT WHISTLEBLOWERS
Employees who wish to report their employer for fraudulent or illegal activities are protected under several federal and state laws. In Ohio, it is illegal for a company to commit the following acts:
- Terminate or suspend the employee
- Prevent the employee from receiving salary increases or benefits that the employee is owed
- Transfer the employee
- Reduce the employee’s pay or pension
- Withhold the employee from promotion
- Blacklist the employee
- Threaten, harass or intimidate the employee
Another important protection offered by the False Claims Act is that all whistleblower claims are always filed under seal. This ensures that the information contained in the lawsuit is confidential and not available to anyone other than those directly investigating the case.
If you are considering reporting fraudulent practices or illegal activity that is happening in your place of employment, having experienced legal assistance will be crucial in the upcoming procedures. Our Columbus whistleblower attorneys can help ensure your rights are protected throughout the entire process and that your employer does not retaliate against you.
REPORTING ILLEGAL OR FRAUDULENT ACTIVITIES
Filing a whistleblower claim is a complex process that requires individuals follow strict rules and guidelines in order to have a successful claim.
In Ohio, whistleblowers must:
- Follow the proper procedures listed in your employee handbook and report the offense to your workplace superior before alerting public officials.
- After reporting the violation to your employer, they have 24 hours to correct the violation and inform you of the correction.
- The claim must be honest and made in good-faith.
- If you are making a complaint to the federal government, you must have legal representation.
There are additional requirements and rules that whistleblowers must follow when reporting fraudulent activity against the federal government.
Whether you are reporting a claim against the state or federal government, you must ensure that your evidence is strong and that the information was not previously known. Our whistleblower attorneys in Columbus have the knowledge required to build a successful qui tam lawsuit and can help you determine if your evidence is strong enough to bring a case.
CONTACT ONE OF OUR COLUMBUS WHISTLEBLOWER ATTORNEYS
When dealing with a whistleblowing situation, it is important that you have proof of the practice and hire the right legal team to represent you.
At O’Connor, Acciani & Levy, we understand the risks you are taking in reporting illegal activities. That is why we handle these types of cases with the highest level of care and attention.
If you are aware of any fraudulent or illegal activity happening at your workplace, contact one of our Columbus whistleblower lawyers to schedule a free and confidential consultation.