Whistleblower Law In Jacksonville
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It is never okay for an employer to ask you to participate in something that is illegal. Unfortunately, it can happen. Fortunately, the Federal False Claims Act rewards whistleblowers financially and provides employee protection to those who take professional and personal risks to expose and stop fraudulent acts against the government. These statutes are the most powerful tools that the general public has in helping to recover taxpayer dollars stolen through illegal actions of government contractors (e.g. – Medicare providers). In fact, billions of taxpayer dollars are recovered through settlements each year and the whistleblower may be entitled to 15% to 30% of the funds recovered.
Qui Tam Lawsuits
When a private individual (usually an employee) has evidence that a person or company violated the law in the performance of a government contract or was in violation of regulations governing misconduct, a qui tam lawsuit can be brought on behalf of the government as well as the whistleblowers. Under these unique laws, if you file a legal claim, you can be entitled to a large percentage of the funds recovered. You also may receive a lot of money when penalties are awarded for violations such as breach of contract. If the government decides the wrongdoings involved criminal acts (not human errors or technical violations), the government may levy fines up to three times the original amount.
Billions Recovered by Honest Employees
Under the Federal False Claims Act, you may sue an individual or a business to recover monies through a tort lawsuit filed on the government’s behalf. Listed below are examples of fraud uncovered by honest employees:
- Billing for goods and services never delivered
- Performing unnecessary medical procedures
- Inappropriate billings for medicare reimbursements
- Charging for phantom employees not on the job
- Misrepresenting the value of goods for tax purposes
- Failing to report known product defects
- Lying to the government about costs
- Billing for work not performed
- Winning a contract through kickbacks
- Forging physician signatures for reimbursement
- False certification of contractor guidelines
- Up-coding to inflate bills for more expensive treatments
- Falsifying natural resource production
- Lick and stick prescription kickbacks and rebate fraud
- Bundling of multiple charges when only one was performed
To discourage fraud for those who contract with the government for goods and services, penalties can be levied for each violation and treble damages awarded for reimbursements up to three times the initial amount.
Whistleblower Lawsuits with Holt Harrell
Victims Rewarded Under False Claims Act
Under the whistleblower laws, victims play an important role in protecting the public’s interest from corrupt management. When funds are recovered through a negotiated settlement or trial-awarded restitution, the victimized employee(s) can recover a substantial amount of money for doing the right thing. Whistleblower laws are intended to help change the overall culture while discouraging fraud and other illegal behaviors that waste taxpayer dollars.
At Harrell and Harrell, our team of Jacksonville personal injury attorneys understand the stress and suffering you and your family were subjected to as a result of your employer’s illegal activities. That’s why we will be there for you every step of the way until justice is served and our taxpayer dollars are reimbursed.
Representing Cases of Retaliation Law
Other federal and state laws regulating workers’ rights prohibit employers for retaliating against employees who make a good faith or reasonable complaint, regardless of whether the claim proves valid. Listed are situations where various state or federal retaliation laws might apply to private citizens:
- Employer wrongdoings regulated by the Florida private whistleblower law
- Filing a claim or asserting rights under workers’ compensation laws
- Request for leave protected by the Family and Medical Leave Act
- Complaints about unlawful pay practices under the Fair Labor Standards Act
It should be noted that public employees are protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. As long as an employee complains in an unruly manner about a situation that involves the best interest of the general public (not related to the employee’s job), the public employer is prohibited from taking retaliatory actions.
If you believe you are the victim of an unlawful retaliation by your employer, you should call our personal injury law firm today. Our lawyers provide a free consultation to privately discuss the details of your exact circumstances and can help determine whether sufficient evidence exists to prove an unlawful retaliatory motive on the part of your employer.
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