What is A Whistleblower And Why Should You Be One?
Whistleblowers are individuals who become aware of a significant illegal activity, often a pattern or practice of doing business taking place either in their own company, another company, or that affects the government in some way. A whistleblower is a person having such information who then discloses it to outside lawyers, to a superior within their organization, to legal authorities, or to the media. In short, whistleblowers are individuals with the courage to step forward, take a stand and report the wrongful activity – to the right person and before anyone else does.
The typical scenario is where an employee becomes aware of a business practice that cheats the government, the public or other companies. A few examples are misrepresentations in medical billing and malfeasance in government contracting. Gross corporate mismanagement, theft and waste of corporate funds, dangers to public safety, and fraudulent public financial reporting also are the types of practices that can resulting in a whistleblower lawsuit.
The employee then reveals that information to an outside lawyer that can advise the whistleblower on the law and strategy, on how to protect themselves, and how to obtain a financial reward. This is a very complicated process, and there are many issues to consider, particularly if the employee is expected by their employer to cooperate in the wrongful behavior or just look the other way.
Why be a whistleblower?
Whistleblowing can be very rewarding. First, there can be substantial financial recoveries for whistleblowers. Over the past 30 years, the average U.S. whistleblowing reward payout averages approximately $1.5 million in those litigations actions that are successfully resolved. But perhaps more importantly, when you turn the spotlight on corporate abuse, corruption, and fraud, you are standing up to protect others and are taking action to do the right thing. It is not always easy to stand up for what is right, but our collective well-being and the efficient operation of our system of government and commitment to the rule of law relies on it. Brave people must step forward when others won’t.
How to be a whistleblower?
Anyone can be a whistleblower. All you need is the courage to come forward to tell your story with as much detailed evidence of the wrongful act as you can legally obtain. Being a first-hand witness is not strictly necessary. Having examples of documentary evidence – correspondence, memos, financial records, and other documents proving wrongdoing – may be very helpful.
The key thing is to have competent legal representation to make sure your rights are protected and that your information is revealed to the right person, at the right time and in the right manner.
Whistleblowers are protected in the United States
Although whistleblowing can bring unwanted attention and difficulties on you, there are laws to prevent any retaliation on the part of the employer. This is import to know because recent political claims against some members of the intelligence community may have led people to believe that whistleblowing is a crime. It is not. In fact, laws were created to encourage, reward and protect people who report fraud, abuse, and mismanagement, particularly if it affects state or federal governments in some way.
Do I need a lawyer?
There many legal, strategic and personal aspects to whistleblowing and any related litigation. It is a complicated area of the law and you will need to have competent legal counsel represent you before your blow the whistle. At the very least, it is a stressful situation and you should be prepared for the long haul.
Thinking of blowing the whistle?
In these kinds of matters you will need a strong legal team to represent you. Someone with a proven track record of success against corporate malfeasance. At Evangelista Worley, we have the knowledge, the expertise, and the resources to handle your case on a contingency basis, meaning if you don’t win, you don’t pay. It is that simple.
Feel free to call us for a confidential and free consultation. Don’t let fraud, corruption, or other abuses go unpunished. If you spot something illegal, call the whistleblower experts at Evangelista Worley today at (404) 205-8400.