FAQ About Whistleblowers
Honest answers to questions about whistleblowers from attorneys you trust
Whistleblower cases can be overwhelming for the average person who witnesses wrongdoing and decides to take action. But knowing what to do can be confusing. Even knowing where to find accurate information can be challenging. That’s why we want to help.
Our knowledgeable whistleblower lawyers at Brewer & Pritchard, P.C. in Houston have decades of experience handling complex legal cases throughout the world. As a result, we have a thorough understanding of the laws and legal systems governing such cases. You can rely on us to for accurate answers to your important questions.
What is your whistleblower question?
Below, you can find the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about whistleblowers. More in-depth answers to certain questions can also be found on our website. But such answers should simply be the start of your journey to holding someone accountable for fraud or corruption. Each case is different and requires a unique approach. That’s why we want to meet with you as soon as possible.
- What is a whistleblower?
- Are whistleblowers protected from prosecution?
- Can I be fired for being a whistleblower?
- Do whistleblowers have to reveal their identity?
- Is a whistleblower compensated?
- What is Qui Tam Law?
- What is the False Claims Act?
- What is the Whistleblower Protection Act?
- Who is eligible to be a whistleblower?
- Can a whistleblower be sued?
- Is there a statute of limitations for reporting cases?
- What is the first to file rule?
- How can an attorney help a whistleblower?
Experienced Houston whistleblower attorneys who understand clients’ needs
The desire to do the right thing is important. But when it comes to hiring a lawyer to handle your whistleblower case, you need more. You need someone with the experience and knowledge to guide your case toward a successful conclusion. You need someone who thoroughly understands the laws governing whistleblowers. You need a law firm with a strong track record. You need Brewer & Pritchard, P.C.
Building a strong whistleblower case takes a patient and detail-oriented attorney. Our lawyers excel at such painstaking work. We routinely scour for evidence other law firms often overlook. We then use these facts to build a rock-solid legal argument.
Take a stand against corruption. Contact our law firm. We respect our clients’ privacy and understand the sensitive nature of such cases. Call (713) 903-2731 or fill out our online inquiry form and schedule a confidential appointment. We’re here for you every step of the way.
A whistleblower is a legal term used to describe someone who reports fraud, corruption or other illegal activity within a public institution or private business. Being a whistleblower also takes tremendous courage. Such individuals serve a vital role in our society.
In most cases, whistleblowers that report wrongdoing are protected from prosecution. Many federal laws exist to protect the rights of whistleblowers that report fraudulent activity. However, it’s always important to consult with an attorney about your rights and responsibilities if you are considering being a whistleblower.
In most cases, whistleblowers cannot be fired for filing a whistleblower complaint or lawsuit involving their employer. Many state and federal laws exist to protect the rights of workers against retribution or retaliation by employers. However, it’s advisable to discuss your potential legal case with a lawyer in order to fully understand the legal protections in your state.
The answer to this question depends on what type of criminal activity is being reported by a whistleblower. Certain whistleblower claims often allow the person filing the complaint to remain anonymous, especially in cases involving Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) fraud. However, there may be certain instances when whistleblowers have to reveal their identity. Each case is different and so are the rules and regulations governing them.
Many whistleblower claims involve rewarding the whistleblower with financial compensation for reporting fraudulent activity. This is especially true in cases involving government fraud. However, there are many rules regarding compensation for whistleblowers, including the first-to-file rule under the False Claims Act. That’s why it often pays to talk to a lawyer if pursuing a whistleblower complaint.
Qui Tam Law is a legal term used to describe an area of the law that allows individuals to file a lawsuit against a company committing fraud involving the government. Under qui tam law, the individual who files the lawsuit may be eligible to receive financial compensation if the government recovers compensation as a result of the qui tam action.
The False Claims Act is a federal law created in 1863 in response to widespread fraud committed mostly by private contractors against the federal government. Under the False Claims Act, individuals aware of fraud can report such illegal activity and may be eligible for financial compensation if the government recovers money due to a whistleblower’s lawsuit.
Enacted in 1989, the Whistleblower Protection Act provides legal protections to whistleblowers that work for the federal government and report fraudulent criminal activity involving the government. Under the Act, federal employees cannot and should not be punished in retaliation for reporting violations of federal laws, rules or regulations.
In general, whistleblowers must be someone who has direct knowledge of fraud, corruption or other criminal activity. Often, this involves current or former employees of a company involved in fraudulent activity. However, in many cases, anyone can be a whistleblower and can report fraud or corruption, provided they have first-hand knowledge of criminal activity.
In many cases, companies accused of criminal wrongdoing file a lawsuit against the whistleblower that reported criminal activity. But just because a whistleblower can be sued often does not make that right. In many cases, lawsuits filed against whistleblowers are a form of retaliation meant to intimidate people and scare them into dropping their whistleblower complaint. When this happens, whistleblowers should hire an attorney to protect their rights and respond to such intimidation tactics.
The statute of limitations (a legal term used to describe the deadline to take legal action) for filing a whistleblower claim or lawsuit can vary widely. Depending on the nature of the case, whistleblowers may only have 30 days or many years to file a complaint. That’s why it’s critical for anyone considering taking such legal action to talk to an attorney familiar with the statute of limitation laws that apply to different whistleblower cases as soon as possible.
The first to file rule in whistleblower cases refers primarily to who’s eligible to receive financial compensation as a reward for reporting fraud, corruption or other criminal activity. Only the first whistleblower to file a lawsuit or take other legal action is eligible to receive compensation as a reward. Anyone else who later files a similar complaint is not eligible to receive financial compensation. That’s why it’s important for potential whistleblowers to know their rights and take prompt legal action if they suspect fraud or corruption.
There are so many reasons why whistleblowers should hire a lawyer to help with their whistleblower lawsuit or complaint. In particular, an experienced whistleblower lawyer can make sure that someone’s complaint receives the attention it rightfully deserves. An attorney can also make sure that any legal action taken by a whistleblower adheres to the strict state and federal rules and regulations governing complex legal cases. Don’t try to tackle your case on your own. Talk to an attorney who puts your best interests first. Contact our law firm.