Are Whistleblowers Protected From Prosecution?
Learn more about your legal rights from experienced whistleblower attorneys
This seemingly simple question raises a wide range of issues illustrating the complicated nature of whistleblower cases. Many people want to know if they have immunity from prosecution if they file a whistleblower claim. The short answer is maybe. In most cases, whistleblowers that report wrongdoing are protected from prosecution.
However, every case is different. In addition, a whistleblowers direct or indirect involvement in criminal activity could be a factor in certain cases. That’s why it’s important to discuss your potential legal case with an experienced whistleblower attorney. That’s why we want to meet with you at Brewer & Pritchard, P.C. We can review the details of your case and explain your legal options. That way, you can make informed decisions about what to do next.
Can I be prosecuted for being a whistleblower?
Government officials understand the sensitive nature of many whistleblower cases. That’s why many rules and regulations exist, which are designed to protect whistleblowers from being prosecuted or facing other disciplinary action, including being demoted or fired in response for reporting criminal activity. Without such protections, many whistleblowers would be afraid to come forward.
Even so, some whistleblowers are wrongly prosecuted or may face other legal action for their actions. The company, business, private contractor or other entity accused of breaking the law may accuse the whistleblower of doing the same thing. When this happens, whistleblowers may face prosecution or other legal action. That’s why it’s important to talk to an attorney in such sensitive situations.
What laws exist to protect whistleblowers?
Numerous state and federal laws exist to protect whistleblowers from prosecution. At the federal level, these laws include:
- Whistleblower Protection Act
- False Claims Act
- Qui Tam Law
- Civil Service Reform Act of 1978, which provides legal protections to federal employees.
- Ethics in Government Act of 1978, which provides certain legal protections to public officials.
- No FEAR Act of 2002, which prohibits federal supervisors from punishing or retaliating against federal employees who act as whistleblowers.
- Sarbanes–Oxley Act of 2002, which requires certain individuals to report financial wrongdoings under specific mandatory whistleblower disclosure rules.
Many other laws exist which protect whistleblowers, include laws at the state level such as the Texas Medicaid Fraud Prevention Act. Making sense of such complex laws can be confusing. Learn more about your rights and protections. Talk to an attorney familiar with this area of the legal system.
What should I do if I’m prosecuted for being a whistleblower?
Whistleblowers sometimes face serious legal challenges when they report corruption or other illegal activity. In some cases, whistleblowers might be wrongfully prosecuted by authorities that think they had something to do with criminal activity. In other cases, the people who committed these crimes may try to pin the blame on the whistleblower, claiming that person is guilty.
If you have filed a whistleblower complaint and now face legal action yourself, it’s important that you take strong legal action to protect your rights. Each case is different, but if you’re a whistleblower and you’re being prosecuted yourself, take the following suggested steps:
- Do not respond verbally or in writing to the complaint or lawsuit.
- Ask for a written copy of the complaint or lawsuit.
- Talk to a whistleblower plaintiff attorney right away.
It takes courage to blow the whistle and do the right thing. Our whistleblower protection attorneys can provide legal guidance and help you pursue justice. Contact us today. Call (713) 903-2731 and schedule a confidential case evaluation at our law firm. We thoroughly understand the laws governing whistleblower cases. We have years of experience handling complicated cases. And we have the track record to prove it because case results matter here.