A whistleblower is an individual, usually an employee, who reports a company’s illegal or fraudulent actions to appropriate, specific law enforcement authorities. Federal and state whistleblower laws are designed to protect whistleblowers from being terminated, being denied benefits, or otherwise being retaliated against for reporting wrongful actions by an employer or others.
If you are a whistleblower and were fired or otherwise retaliated against by your company, you may have a claim for compensation under federal whistleblower laws.
Federal Whistleblower Laws
There is no one federal whistleblower law. Instead, there are a variety of acts that protect employees in different work situations. Here are some of the more common ones:
● The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. One provision of this law protects employees of publically traded U.S. corporations when they report, cause information to be provided, or otherwise cooperate in an investigation concerning securities fraud, bank fraud, mail fraud or wire fraud, conducted by a federal regulatory or law enforcement agency, a member of Congress or Congressional committee, or a person with supervisory authority to investigate, discover or terminate misconduct.
● The Dodd-Frank Act. One provision of this law protects employees who provide information to the Securities Exchange Commission regarding violation of securities laws.
● False Claim Act. This Act protects employees of federal government contractors or other entities that receive federal funding who investigate, report, or try to stop the defrauding of the federal government. Whistleblowers are common in the medical, pharmaceutical, and defense contracting industries.
● The National Defense Authorization Act of 2013. This Act protects employees of Defense Department contractors who report or provide information they reasonably believe constitutes evidence of illegality, gross waste or mismanagement, abuse of authority, or a substantial, specific danger to public health or safety.
● The Notification and Federal Employee Anti-Discrimination and Retaliations Act of 2002 (No-Fear Act). This law only applies to federal agencies and enforces a strict whistleblowing mandate, including notifying employees of their whistleblowing rights and having a process to investigate complaints.
● The Military Whistleblower Protection Act. Under this Act, military personnel are protected if they make a complaint to Congress.
Contact Attorney Walt Taylor for Help If You’re a Whistleblower
Are you a whistleblower who was wrongfully terminated or otherwise retaliated against? Attorney Walt Taylor is here to answer your questions and help you enforce your legal rights. You must file an administrative complaint within a specific time period before having a right to file a lawsuit in Federal Court. To learn more about your legal options and how to protect yourself, contact us online or call our office directly at 817.380.4888 to schedule your free consultation today.