An employee has the legal right to report when his or her employer breaks the law. Indeed, employees should be able to report illegal conduct to management or to the government without fear of retaliation — after all, an employer cannot legally discriminate against or fire an employee for reporting unlawful activity, refusing to break the law or for reporting unsafe working conditions. In reality, however, employees end up terminated for such behavior all too often.
Legally protected conduct includes:
- Health and safety concerns, such as dangerous equipment or unsafe workplace
- OSHA violations
- Overtime, meal and rest break and other Labor Code violations
- Healthcare professionals reporting unsafe patient care and conditions
- Government fraud
Reporting any of the above to the employer, such as a supervisor or company hotline, even if anonymous, or to a government agency protects an employee from retaliation.
At The Rutten Law Firm, APC, in Los Angeles, our employment law attorneys are dedicated to assisting employees in whistleblower and qui tam actions and have successfully obtained compensation for their losses. We have the experience and legal knowledge necessary to provide the representation that your case deserves. With over 25 years’ experience, we stand strong for employees’ rights.
Representing Employees Protected By Qui Tam And The False Claims Act
There are many different types of laws protecting employees from retaliation as whistleblowers. Two of these laws are the California False Claims Act and the writ of qui tam, under which employees can be awarded a percentage of the recovery obtained from a lawsuit against his or her company.
- Qui tam — The writ of qui tam is a common law writ that allows an individual who has information about a company’s illegal activities to bring a lawsuit on behalf of the United States and to receive part of any penalty that is imposed.
- The False Claims Act — This federal law is a more specific form of qui tam. Also called the “Lincoln Law,” because of its origins during the Civil War, the act states that any company or organization is liable if it is guilty of fraud against the government. Individuals who are not affiliated with the government may file claims under the False Claims Act and may receive a portion of any damages that are recovered in the suit.
Did You Know?
Common whistleblower cases involve employee complaints about Labor Code violations, such as failure to pay wages or provide meal and rest breaks, or improper classification as independent contractors.
Contact The Rutten Law Firm, APC, For Help
If you believe that your employer is violating state or federal laws and are worried about reporting the activity, you need to know that you have rights. If you have already reported or have threatened to report this activity, and you believe that your employer has or is planning to retaliate against you, you need to protect yourself and your livelihood.