Top-10 Tips For Would-Be Whistleblowers
Posted August 24, 2018
- There are numerous laws that protect whistleblowers. Many whistleblower reward laws and other whistleblower protection laws provide protections to whistleblowers from retaliation – through firings, demotions, or other adverse employee actions – for reporting misconduct.
- Becoming a whistleblower can be a difficult ordeal. The laws protecting whistleblowers have vastly improved. But the risk of retaliation or some form of estrangement, alienation, or even blacklisting remains very real.
- A whistleblower may be entitled to a financial reward. Under the False Claims Act, the Dodd-Frank Act, and the IRS Whistleblower Law, the whistleblower(s) responsible for providing the government with evidence that leads to a successful prosecution or settlement may be entitled to anywhere from 15-30% of the government’s recovery.
- Participating in the fraud does not automatically preclude a whistleblower from receiving a reward. This is especially true if a whistleblower participated in the fraud unknowingly or under duress from a superior.
- Becoming a whistleblower does not guarantee a gargantuan payday. No doubt, some whistleblowers have obtained bounties in the seven and even eight figures. These recoveries, however, remain the exception, not the rule.
- A whistleblower need not have witnessed the challenged fraud or misconduct. But he or she should ideally have concrete and specific evidence. Documentary evidence is not required but greatly supports a whistleblower claim.
- Anyone with evidence of corporate fraud or misconduct can be a whistleblower. A whistleblower does not have to be a current or former employee of the company that has engaged in the fraud or misconduct.
- It can be beneficial to report fraud or misconduct as soon as possible. In many cases, only the first whistleblower will get a reward for providing the government with information of the fraud.
- The whistleblower process can take a very long time. In most cases, the process takes several years or longer.
- Whistleblowers can greatly benefit from working with experienced legal counsel. A whistleblower lawyer can help navigate the various options, laws, and legal procedures to be followed under the whistleblower system. An attorney can also assist the whistleblower in taking full advantage of the numerous protections and rewards offered under the various whistleblower laws.
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