If you are an employee whose work involves billing the state or federal government and you have knowledge of fraudulent practices or presentation of false claims by your co-workers or employer, you may be rewarded for bringing that information forward with a “whistleblower” or False Claim Act lawsuit.
These claims are also known as “Qui Tam” cases. Under both state and federal law, workers are allowed to report their co-workers or employers when they violate the law. If the government finds your claim has merit you may be able to receive a percentage of the money reclaimed by the government if they act on the information you have secretly provided. Oftentimes these claims are due to fraudulent billing of Medicare, Medicaid and other government programs.
Additionally, employees are protected from retaliation when they file a claim against their employer. In other words, if you have knowledge that your employer is breaking the law, you can report your employer and they cannot fire you, demote you, or take any punitive action against you for filing the claim.
If you believe that your employer is breaking federal law and you wish to file a whistleblower claim, Jeff Roberts & Associates, PLLC can help. BE AWARE: TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE! Usually the first one to file the claim takes priority; a fellow employee or person who knows the same fraudulent conduct and files ahead of your claim may terminate your participation. If you have already filed a claim and you believe your employer illegally retaliated against you, we can also help. As a local law firm with nearly 20 years of experience, we are committed to helping fellow Tennessean workers protect their rights.
Contact us online or by phone at (615) 425-4400 to request a free, confidential consultation with one of our Nashville whistleblower attorneys today.
When Can You File a Whistleblower Claim?
An employee may file a whistleblower claim when he or she has knowledge of an employer’s illegal activity. Typically, whistleblower claims are used to expose businesses and corporations that attempt to defraud the federal or state government.
Common types of whistleblower claims include:
- Healthcare Fraud: Examples include hospitals billing for services they did not provide, doctors making false statements regarding compliance with federal law, or pharmaceutical companies engaging in marketing for a non-FDA-approved drug.
- Tax Fraud: Whistleblower claims for tax fraud alert the government to businesses that are evading taxes, or not paying legally required taxes.
- Securities and Investor Fraud: Examples include purposefully misleading investors, providing false information, offering fraud, and manipulation.
- Environmental Fraud: This can include any intentional violation of federal or state environmental regulations, including the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Toxic Substances Act, and others.
- Mail Fraud: Examples can include any act that seeks to secure money or property deceptively or any attempt to sell, exchange, supply, distribute, or use counterfeits via the U.S. Postal Service.
These are just some examples of common types of whistleblower claims. Other examples include federal student loan fraud, government construction or contractor fraud, or federal crop insurance fraud. At Jeff Roberts & Associates, PLLC, we handle all types of whistleblower claims. Our team can help you understand your legal options and protect your rights if you believe your employer is violating the law.
What Protections Do Whistleblowers Have?
By law, employers are not allowed to retaliate against whistleblowers. This means, should you file a whistleblower claim, you are protected from subsequent discrimination or adverse actions from your employer. That being said, Tennessee is an “at-will” state, meaning an employer can fire an employee essentially at any time for almost any reason. This can make it difficult to prove that you were retaliated against. It is important that you have an experienced Nashville whistleblower attorney on your side who can help you work to protect your rights.
If you believe your employer retaliated against you for whistleblowing, you have the right to file a lawsuit against that employer. The statute of limitations (or time you have to file the lawsuit) is one year from the date of the retaliatory action. While every situation is different, most whistleblower or retaliation claims seek to recover damages for lost income, the sum of back wages, loss of benefits, attorney fees, and court costs.
Contact Us Today to Learn More
At Jeff Roberts & Associates, PLLC, we can help you work to make sure your rights are protected. Our firm has extensive experience in this particular area of law, meaning we understand the complexities involved. Our experienced and highly skilled team is prepared to fight for you.
Call our office at (615) 425-4400 or fill out a confidential contact form to request your complimentary consultation today.