Do I Have A Valid Whistleblower Claim?
There have been some high-profile proceedings involving whistleblowers in recent years, but the majority of these cases do not garner media headlines. There are numerous claims filed and investigated every year, and they are no less important in achieving the goal of whistleblower laws. Individuals who come forward to expose misconduct receive protections under the Federal False Claims Act, as well as whistleblower programs associated with the SEC, IRS, Medicare/Medicaid, and others. Many of these same statutes give incentives to whistleblowers, who may be entitled to a financial award for their role in helping the government.
However, whistleblower laws are extremely complicated, making it difficult to know whether or not you have a case. Many workers are in your position, suspecting misconduct by an employer but questioning what to do. You should retain a West Palm Beach whistleblower claims attorney for specifics about your case and guidance on the legal process. Some basic points can help you do an initial assessment about your options.
Requirements for a Whistleblower Claim: There are certain factors that must be present for someone to serve as a whistleblower:
- The government, investors, taxpayers, employees, or the public at large must suffer some financial loss because of your employer’s misconduct.
- There must be credible, solid evidence of the fraud or other wrongdoing.
- If there is a statute of limitations on a particular whistleblower law, you may need to comply with the deadline. It could range from 30 days to 10 years under different statutes.
Evidence Needed to Support Your Case: While you do not need to personally witness instances of misconduct by your employer, you will need concrete, specific proof. Speculation is not sufficient, so be prepared to identify the players, what they did, how they accomplished fraud, and any other details. Your evidence must also be original, which means having information that the government would not be able to access by other means. Examples include:
- Emails, voicemails, texts, and other communications;
- Internal reporting and documentation;
- Employee manuals and policies; and,
- Invoices, receipts, and billing records.
Pending Investigations and Timing: There is a “first-to-file” rule for most whistleblower claims, which is different from a statute of limitations. By law, you must be bringing new information or allegations related to misconduct by your employer. If someone has already filed a complaint under the relevant statute, you may not be able to take advantage of the rewards for whistleblowers.
However, keep in mind that many employees may join efforts as a group to blow the whistle. This way, you would be among the first-to-file when you proceed through a joint action.
Set Up a Consultation with a Palm Beach County Whistleblower Claims Lawyer Today
This information should be helpful on what makes a valid whistleblower claim, but you will need advice from a skilled attorney to know whether to move forward to expose fraud. To learn more, please call Sconzo Law Office at 561-279-6114 or visit us online. We can schedule a case review at our offices in Palm Beach Gardens.