In recent years, whistleblowers have achieved increased success against corporate fraud waste and abuse. Government agencies continually pass regulations and direct their enforcement activities protecting whistleblowers and prohibiting retaliation. News agency headlines routinely showcase million dollar verdicts for the government and whistleblowers. At the same time, there are industry groups that are attempting to curb this momentum and encourage whistleblowers to first internally report any potential corruption or illegalities rather than directly reach out to law enforcement authorities.
Of interest is a newly drafted document by the Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The document is titled Protecting Whistleblowers: Recommended Practices for Employers for Preventing and Addressing Retaliation. It is an outrageous attempt by the Chamber of Commerce to detrimentally influence potential whistleblowers and give the Wall Street corporate criminals a way to escape accountability. We hope that our readers can participate in the public comment period by filling out the short form online here by January 19, and voicing their concerns to the Labor Department. However, this is a merely a first step that may be taken in the face of corporate fraud waste and abuse and in response to the millions of dollars spent by defense-backed organizations.
Employees should know that it is their long-fought for right to report misconduct directly to law enforcement without having to tell the company first. In addition, the OSHA document aims to erode the anonymity and protection granted to potential whistleblowers since internal reporting creates a vulnerability for retaliation without legal protection since courts have routinely held that internal disclosures do not establish protected activity. See more information at the National Whistleblower Center website here, contact our Los Angeles Employment Attorneys for any questions or concerns about possible illegal activities, and stay up to date on whistleblowing on our dedicated page.
In 2015, California accounted for approximately 25% of all healthcare related False Claim Act (FCA) cases. From the ones unsealed, the average settlement amount recorded is approximately $6 million per case. With increasing and more frequent monetary awards, relators are increasingly emboldened to continue reporting their employer’s misdeeds and indirectly save the taxpayers millions of dollars that would otherwise illegally end up with corrupt companies.
If you witnessed any potential fraudulent activity such as underpayment to the government, underperforming of medical treatments to government program beneficiaries, or non-refunded payments to the government upon overpayment, prompt action is vital. Contact the experienced employment law attorneys at Stephen Danz & Associates for a free consultation to discuss your circumstances and legal options.