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When a business or individual commits fraudulent or unethical practices, it’s the whistleblowers who often put a stop to it. These are the people who report on the wrongdoings of their employers or others to help protect the public and their colleagues. If you have witnessed such misconduct, you may be considering blowing the whistle yourself. But before you do, it’s important to understand the risks involved. Whistleblowers can face serious retaliation from their employers, including termination, demotion, and harassment. These, of course, are all illegal under California law, but that doesn’t always stop companies from trying. That’s why many consult with a Long Beach whistleblower lawyer before taking any action.
At The Law Office of Omid Nosrati, our experienced legal team can help you navigate the often complicated process of publicly disclosing information. We understand the gravity of what you’re up against, but that won’t stop us from fighting for what is right. The members of our team are experts on the Whistleblower Protection Act, California labor code, and False Claims Act. We know how to get results. Connect with us today if you’re ready to take action and make a difference.
A whistleblower is someone who reports on the illegal or unethical practices of their employer or another individual. In many cases, whistleblowers are employees who witness their colleagues or superiors engaging in fraud or other misconduct. Others may be vendors, contractors, or consumers who have been the victim of fraud themselves. Whistleblowers help to expose discrimination and wrongdoings, protecting the public from harm.
When you report fraud or misconduct, you’re taking a risk. You could lose your job, your financial security, and even your freedom. But knowing that these illegal responses to your disclosure can be challenged in court can ease your mind and give you the courage to step forward.
Retaliation is the most common risk faced by whistleblowers. Your employer could fire you, demote you, or otherwise make your work life difficult. You might also be blacklisted from future jobs in your field. You could face civil or criminal charges if your allegations turn out to be false, including defamation, libel, trespassing, or violating trade secrets laws.
Despite these risks, many people choose to disclose information to the public because they believe it’s the right thing to do. If you’re considering whistleblowing, it’s important to understand the risks and how to protect yourself.
There are many types of fraud and misconduct that whistleblowers can report. Some common examples include:
There are several things you can do to protect yourself as a whistleblower:
To prove fraud or misconduct, you will need to provide evidence of the wrongdoing that can be tied to a specific individual or entity. Common forms of evidence that support whistleblower claims include:
If you have evidence of fraud or misconduct, there are a few things you can do to increase the chances that your claim will be taken seriously and investigated:
Once you’ve submitted a claim, the agency will review it to determine if there is enough evidence to warrant an investigation. If they decide to investigate, they will assign an investigator to look into the matter. The investigation can take months or even years to complete, and it may not lead to any disciplinary action.
If the investigation finds evidence of fraud or misconduct, the agency may take disciplinary action against the person or entity accused of wrongdoing. This could include fines, suspension, or termination. The agency may also choose to take no action if they determine that the evidence is not sufficient to prove wrongdoing.
If you come forward with your allegations, you may be protected from retaliation by your employer. However, you could still face retaliation from the person or entity you accused of wrongdoing. It’s important to speak with an attorney before you come forward to ensure that you are protected from retaliation.
If an employer is found guilty of illegal activity, they may face a number of penalties. These can include:
A: Illegal activity in the workplace can be masterfully concealed. You might not have access to the financial documents or other records that would help prove your case. However, there might be other ways to prove your case. For example, having direct confirmation that someone was told to commit fraud would be incredibly powerful evidence. You could then connect with an attorney who will help you legally advance your whistleblower case to collect other forms of evidence.
A: If you suffer retaliation because you reported illegal activity, you may be able to sue your employer. You would need to prove that your employer took adverse action against you because of your whistleblowing. This can be difficult to do, so it’s important to speak with an attorney who has already litigated these types of cases.
A: Employment lawyers typically litigate whistleblower cases. These lawyers have experience with all of the laws that govern employment, including the anti-retaliation provisions. They also have experience representing employees who have been retaliated against. They serve as the go-to experts on any disputes or legal concerns under the employment relationship.
A: It is not possible to give a general answer to this question because every case is different. Some lawyers operate on an hourly rate, while others may charge a contingency fee. This means that they would only get paid if you win your case. Speak with a lawyer to get a better understanding of their fee structure and what it would mean for you specifically.
If you have witnessed illegal activity in the workplace, it’s time to fix the problem. Don’t let fear of retaliation keep you from coming forward. The first step is to contact an experienced whistleblower lawyer to discuss your case and learn about your legal options.
The Law Office of Omid Nosrati is a leading law firm representing whistleblowers in Long Beach and throughout California. We have a proven track record of success in these cases. Contact us today to schedule a consultation. We will review your case and advise you on the best course of action to achieve justice and compensation.