What Happens If You Report Employer Wrongdoing?
Many people who have observed fraud or other illegal actions by their employers are unsure about what will happen to them if they report their employer’s wrongdoing. Will they be entitled to compensation for reporting the fraud? Will they be protected from employer retaliation?
If you want to know more about your rights as a whistleblower, attorney William Julien offers a free initial consultation to evaluate your situation and advise you of your rights. For a free consultation, call 866-569-7398 or fill out the contact form on this website. We represent whistleblowers in West Palm Beach, Miami, Fort Lauderdale and throughout the state.
What Is Whistleblower Law?
In 2002, the U.S. Congress passed the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, requiring publicly traded companies to give a full and honest reporting of their financial standing. The law is intended to protect investors from fraudulent and misleading information about the financial security of a company selling stocks, bonds and securities.
Under provisions of the law, any employee, ex-employee or independent contractor with knowledge of fraudulent practices at the company – committed by an individual or as a corporate policy – may file a qui tam lawsuit on behalf of the government. If the government proves that accounting or reporting fraud or other illegal practices are taking place, the individual initiating the lawsuit is eligible to receive up to 35 percent of the total money recovered, which can include punitive damages and legal fees. To date, more than $3 billion have been recovered by the government through whistleblower lawsuits.
Some typical fraudulent practices that can be reported include:
- Falsifying cash position of the company
- Pyramid investment schemes, Ponzi schemes
- Falsifying earnings in stockholder reports
- Churning or inappropriate investments
- Illegal “junk bond” transactions
- Underreporting of expenses
- Illegal investments
South Florida Whistleblower Protection – We Protect Whistleblowers’ Rights
Both state and federal laws can protect employees known as “whistleblowers” who report or oppose dangerous workplace conditions or illegal activity on the part of their employer. If you believe whistleblower protection might apply in your situation, contact an experienced Boynton Beach whistleblower retaliation attorney at the Law Office of William M. Julien, P.A., for a free consultation about your legal rights and possible recovery of damages.
How Do Employers Retaliate?
Although the law concerning whistleblower retaliation and protection can vary a lot depending on your own particular situation, certain fact patterns seem to recur frequently:
- Employee is demoted or disciplined for reporting a supervisor’s fraud
- Dismissal or termination of employee for reporting or complaining about discrimination or harassment in the workplace
- Employee is fired for reporting health or safety violations
- Discipline or termination for supporting the complaint or report of another employee concerning race discrimination or sexual harassment
If any of these situations applies to you, or if you’re considering whistleblower activity but are afraid of retaliation by your employer, get in touch with us as soon as possible. We represent clients from West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Miami and elsewhere in Florida. You’ll come out of your free initial consultation with a much better understanding of your rights under the Florida Private Sector Whistleblower Act, Florida Civil Rights Act, Title VII, FSLA, or the federal Family Medical Leave Act retaliation provisions – whichever state or federal employment law might apply to you.
It is extremely important to recognize that different laws apply to different situations. The specific legal protections available to you depend a lot on many variables–are you a state or federal employee? Do you work in a highly regulated industry? Are there only a few employees in your workplace?
Florida Attorney For Whistleblowers Filing Qui Tam Lawsuits
Qui tam lawsuits occur if your employer submits a false claim to the United States government, you may be entitled to a percentage of the money damages if you report your employer to the federal government. You are also protected from retaliation from your employer.
Sarbanes-Oxley Act Covering SEC Violations
Under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, Congress mandates that companies selling stock and securities to the public are required to fully and accurately report their financial status. Individuals who become aware of fraudulent reporting practices or transactions that violate the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulations are eligible to file a qui tam lawsuit on behalf of the government. The party or parties initiating the lawsuit are eligible to receive up to 35% of the financial recovery if the company is found guilty of fraud.
Contact An Attorney Today
We never charge for a consultation, and we invite you to call us if your employer has asked you to do something illegal. To learn more about your options, call whistleblower lawyer William M. Julien at 561-560-7388 (866-569-7398 toll-free) or send us an email.