whistleblower

Posts Tagged With ‘whistleblower’

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission say they have received 50 percent more tips this year when compare to fiscal year 2012. That’s more than 4,400 tips from concerned whistleblowers hoping to gain protection and award money from the SEC. 62 percent of awarded whistleblowers were current or former industry insiders, using their unique perspective to alert authorities to corporate wrongdoing.

This number is seen as a raving success for the SEC. In previous eras, it was difficult to convince insiders to come forward with concerns because they feared retaliation. With protection from the SEC and tempting award money amounts, more and more people are coming forward with information.

The SEC estimates they will likely award future whistleblowers with more than $220 million in payments. They issued $50 million in awards last year alone. 

This amount of money makes waves in both private and public sectors. Managers have received the message not to silence tipsters. This creates a climate that allows for less fraud and greater accountability in virtually all industries. Of course, the financial sector is among the largest targets for the SEC.

Of course, some companies say that these awards discourage employees from bringing their concerns to human resource offices to deal with misbehavior internally. While this is indeed a problematic side effect of the issue, the larger impact is inherently positive for our society. We applaud the SEC for awarding brave whistleblowers. It is a sign of a productive, ethical society that employees no longer fear doing the right thing.

Have You Witnessed Illegal Practices?

If you have been brave enough to reveal unsafe, fraudulent, or deceitful practices within your company, you should not be punished.  If you are aware of unsafe, fraudulent, or deceitful practices within your company, but have not come forward, you need guidance.  In both instances, you deserve the protection that the law affords you. Do not stand by and be bullied into silence by your company.

A Food Safety Modernization Act clause will allow food and agricultural workers protection should they raise the flag on unsafe practices. Section 402 protects privately employed food and agriculture workers who take action reporting food safety concerns. Under the clause, such workers cannot be discharged or punished for their whistleblowing.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is the agency responsible for enforcing these new provisions. They oversee 20 such whistleblower rules, all of which protect workers from retaliation after blowing the whistle on unsafe practices in the workplace.

Many of the FSMA provisions have taken years to enact, but the whistleblowing clause went into effect the moment President Obama signed the law in 2011. Since that time, OSHA has been collecting complaints from food and agriculture workers about food safety.

Before this clause was put into place, people who complained about food safety in the workplace could be fired and retaliated against for speaking up. A Texas peanut plant employee tried to raise the flag about products contaminated with salmonella. Unfortunately, his concerns went unheard and nine people were sickened and killed by the contaminated peanut products. Thousands of others were also made sick by the peanuts.

Unfortunately, the man and his family now live in poverty, in spite of his attempt to do what was right. This is a story that is far too common among whistleblowers of all industries. Thankfully, this clause should help put a stop to retaliation and punishment of people like the peanut whistleblower.

Have You Witnessed Illegal Practices?

If you have been brave enough to reveal unsafe, fraudulent, or deceitful practices within your company, you should not be punished.  If you are aware of unsafe, fraudulent, or deceitful practices within your company, but have not come forward, you need guidance.  In both instances, you deserve the protection that the law affords you. Do not stand by and be bullied into silence by your company.

For years, we’ve heard about the pollution of our planet’s oceans, but rarely have the people responsible for such pollution been held responsible for their negligence. That’s changing, thanks to the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships, also known as APPS. APPS allows pollution whistleblowers to alert authorities to corporate misbehavior and receive up to half of the fine charged against the company.

In recent years, APPS has held several major companies responsible for their pollution. In 2016, Princess Cruise lines had to pay $40 million for dumping oily substances into the ocean. A former engineer on one of the cruise ships was the one responsible for blowing the whistle and stood to receive close to $1 million for his courage.

Last month, the Department of Justice secured a settlement from two companies, the Egyptian Tanker Company and Thome Ship Management after a ship dispensed of oily waste in the Gulf of Mexico. Bags of garbage were also tossed into the water. During a Coast Guard inspection, a crew member brought the misdeeds to light. He provided a written statement along with photos and video of the pollution. Thanks to his reports, the companies were fined. The whistle blower stands to receive more than $950,000 for his honesty.

Pollution won’t stop on its own. Without whistle blowers like the ones mentioned above, companies would likely continue to pollute without a second thought. Now, Princess Cruises, the Egyptian Tanker Company and Thome Ship Management will be more thoughtful about how they do away with waste.

Have You Witnessed Illegal Practices?

If you have been brave enough to reveal unsafe, fraudulent, or deceitful practices within your company, you should not be punished.  If you are aware of unsafe, fraudulent, or deceitful practices within your company, but have not come forward, you need guidance.  In both instances, you deserve the protection that the law affords you. Do not stand by and be bullied into silence by your company.

If you’ve been curious to learn more about whistleblowers but have been too afraid to reach out for guidance, this is your guide.

 1.       Whistleblowing isn’t limited to one particular industry. Any time illegal activity takes place, workers can blow the whistle. That means healthcare fraud – like overbilling or improper coding – can be exposed. Government contractors, too, can sound the alarm. Whether you work in the private or the public sector, unethical behavior can be reported.
2.       The risks might seem to outweigh the benefits… Whistleblowers may face unfair, illegal retaliation for their actions. Even before an employee blows the whistle, managers may make threats to people thinking of sounding the alarm. Supervisors mistakenly believe they can scare their employees into silence. But termination, suspension and other common whistleblower consequences are all illegal.
3.       But the rewards will be worth while. The Whistleblower Reward Program, started by the SEC, offers a prize for those who sound the alarm. In 2016, an industry expert – someone outside of the company or government agency they reported – was awarded $700,000 in prize money for his actions. The U.S. government’s whistleblower programs make hundreds of rewards every year as an incentive to report illegal activity.
4.       Whistleblowers are protected by law. Congress passed the Whistleblower Protection Act in 1989, ensuring responsible, ethical employees are safe from retaliation from their superiors or colleagues. Unfortunately, illegal forms of retaliation like termination and hush money still occur all the time. This is when whistleblowers need help.
5.       Attorneys that specialize in whistleblower lawsuits can give you guidance and make sure you’re treated fairly. Those who are brave enough to reveal fraudulent or deceitful practices within their company should not be punished.  If you are aware of such practices within your company but have not come forward, you need guidance.  In both instances, you deserve the protection that the law affords you. Do not stand by and be bullied into silence by your company.

Whistleblower Protection Attorneys

Are you aware of illegal practices going on at your workplace, but are afraid of being retaliated against if you report them? Or maybe you have already reported illegal practices, and have been fired or demoted? If so, you may want to speak to an experienced whistleblower attorney.

There are federal laws in place that protect and reward whistleblowers that shed light on individuals or companies that are engaged in fraudulent activities. For more information visit our Whistleblower Protection page, or contact us to discuss your situation.

An industry expert is now $700,000 richer after receiving the first ever whistleblower award given to a company outsider. An anonymous person known only as an industry expert received $700,000 for coming forward with information. The company in question was not identified. The help given to the Securities and Exchange Commission by this expert is making headlines. The groundbreaking award marks the first time a company outsider has been remunerated for information, as all previously rewarded whistleblowers went to those working at companies being investigated.

Whistleblower Reward Program

The expansion of this whistleblower reward program is a “game changer.” In the past, industry experts sometimes claimed to know about suspicious activity – like that of the Bernie Madoff case – but did not come forward because no such reward was offered to outsiders. The news of this reward program expansion highlights the possibility for anyone with information about unethical behavior to come forward and be rewarded. Industry experts can offer a unique perspective into complex and often confusing fields. Their knowledge is priceless when it comes to understanding potential abuse.

Speaking Up Against Unethical and Illegal Practices

Speaking up about unethical behavior is difficult no matter the context, but it’s especially hard when you’re employed at the company in question. Those who work outside the company face backlash as well, which is why the whistleblower in this case has been kept anonymous. The award money serves as as incentive for people to come forward with their insider knowledge, but also as a kind of insurance policy for the whistleblower. Whistleblower retaliation is illegal, and consequences can be enforced for anyone demoted, terminated, or treated unfairly for reporting illegal practices.

Since the program began in 2011, the SEC has awarded more than $55 million to nearly two dozen whistleblowers.

Whistleblower Protection Attorneys

Are you aware of illegal practices going on at your workplace, but are afraid of being retaliated against if you report them? Or maybe you have already reported illegal practices, and have been fired or demoted? If so, you may want to speak to an experienced whistleblower attorney.

There are federal laws in place that protect and reward whistleblowers that shed light on individuals or companies that are engaged in fraudulent activities. For more information visit our Whistleblower Protection page, or contact us to discuss your situation.

Tonya Mallory, the former CEO of Health Diagnostic Laboratory Inc., is being sued by the federal government for her alleged participation in a “kickback scheme.” According to the government, the company defrauded health insurance programs.

According to sources, the woman is one of five defendants named in the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in South Carolina.

Four months ago, the federal government unsealed whistleblower complaints against Mallory, the company, and several others.

The company itself is not involved with the most recent lawsuit due to the fact that it agreed to pay the government a hefty sum to settle the allegations. In the settlement, HDL admitted to making mistakes.

A company statement noted the following:

“So, while many of our competitors remain subject to that investigation, we are pleased to have put this matter in our rear view mirror.”

Since Mallory did not settle in April, like HDL, she is now faced with a lawsuit involving the federal government.

Whistleblower Protection

Are you aware of illegal practices going on at your workplace, but are afraid of being retaliated against if you report them? Or maybe you have already reported illegal practices, and have been fired or demoted? If so, you may want to speak to an experienced whistleblower attorney.

There are federal laws in place that protect and reward whistleblowers that shed light on individuals or companies that are engaged in fraudulent activities. For more information visit our Whistleblower Protection page, or contact us to discuss your situation.

A new holiday recognizing whistleblowers has been proposed by the National Whistleblower Center. July 30, 1778 is the day the Continental Congress enacted the first whistleblower law – and the day proposed to honor whistleblowers each year. Senator Chuck Grassley recently convinced the Senate to pass a resolution urging on this celebration, but nothing has been made official yet.

The push for such a celebration comes after a series of high profile whistleblower cases in the public eye. Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning are just two such whistleblowers charged with leaking classified information in recent months. Of course, one person’s leaker or traitor is another’s whistleblower. In any case, we should be thankful for the sacrifices of such people willing to risk their reputation for exposing the truth.

The eighth annual Whistleblower Summit was recently held in Washington, D.C. to help honor the proposed July 30th celebration. Organized by the Make it Safe coalition, the summit provides a support network for those feeling isolated by their whistleblower status. It aims to change the public perception of whistleblowers from traitors to heroes. The summit also hopes to provide lobbying training to those who could assist in the passing of transparency legislation.

Though Whistleblower Appreciation Day has not yet been made official, its mission remains vital to our country and what it stands for. As the role of the whistleblower continues to evolve and change, it is important that we recognize the role they play in our corporations and government throughout the nation.

Whistleblower Protection Attorneys

We are experienced whistleblower attorneys and are here to help. For more information visit our Whistleblower Protection page, or contact us to discuss your situation 877-544-5323.

According to the U.S. Justice Department, Children’s National Medical Center has agreed to pay $12.9 million to settle a false claims case.

The department alleges that the medical center inaccurately reported overhead costs on applications and cost reports, which were then used to calculate reimbursement rates to the Department of Health and Human Services. Furthermore, it is believed that the center misreported its available bed count, leading to additional payments from the Virginia and D.C. Medicaid programs, as well as Medicare.

According to reports, all claims resolved in the case remain allegations, as no liability was determined and the center did not admit fault. The Children’s National Medical Center has made it clear that the allegations had no impact on the level of patient care.

The CEO of Children’s National Medical Center added: “Consistent with our commitment to compliance and transparency, and with the full support of our board, we actively cooperated with the government to bring the matter to a prompt and responsible resolution.”

The settlement also brings an end to a whistleblower lawsuit from a former worker. He will receive approximately $2 million in recovered funds for his part in the case.

Overall, employment discrimination claims are falling. On the flipside, claims alleging retaliation against a worker reached an all-time high in 2014. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) noted that charges alleging retaliation reached 42.8 percent last year.

Below are the top 10 categories of charged filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission:

  • Retaliation
  • Race
  • Sex
  • Disability
  • Age
  • National origin
  • Religion
  • Color
  • Equal Pay Act
  • Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act

In addition to the many claims filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, there is another telling statistic: the agency obtained more than $296 million in compensation through its enforcement program. Furthermore, this is monetary relief obtained before litigation.

Do You Need an Employment Lawyer? – GET HELP NOW

If a person feels they have been a victim of discrimination or retaliation, they have the right to consult with an attorney and/or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Contact us today if you’d like to speak with Employment Attorney Cindra Dowd about your rights.

More than 10 years ago, a former air marshal blew the whistle regarding a decision that he felt could jeopardize the safety of the nation. As a result, he was dismissed from his position and has been fighting ever since.

Recently, the United States Supreme Court, by a vote of 7 to 2, ruled in his favor. According to the court, the man’s alert regarding safety concerns should be covered by federal whistleblower protection law.

It was July 2003 and the Department of Homeland Security had called a meeting to inform air marshals of a plot by al-Qaida to hijack a long distance flight. However, before the marshals could take part, all missions were canceled.

After consulting with his supervisor, the man learned that the assignments were canceled because the agency did not want to pay for the expense, which included travel allowances and hotels.

After leaking the story, the cost saving plan was canceled. Three years after the fact, the agency pinpointed the air marshal as the person who leaked the story, thus terminating his employment.

Despite the fact that he believed he was fired illegally, as retaliation is covered by the Whistleblower Protection Act, it took many years for this decision by the Supreme Court.

At this time, the air marshal hopes to be reinstated while also being compensated for back pay.

Source: Read NPR Article Here