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When health and safety violations and other illegal activities go unreported, the government is defrauded and innocent people may suffer harm. If you believe a government employer is engaging in fraud in the Tallahassee area, we at Morgan & Morgan are ready to stand by your side. With the help of our experienced whistleblower attorneys, you can expose government fraud and may be entitled to monetary compensation. Contact us today to learn more.
What is a Whistleblower?
Individuals engaging in government fraud would like you to believe that whistleblowers are bad. However, nothing could be farther from the truth. Whistleblowers are vital to society because they expose wrongdoings for the greater good of the public.
In fact, the word whistleblower originates from referees blowing the whistle on foul or illegal plays in sports. Put simply, a whistleblower is someone who reports illegal activities carried out by a group or organization such as the U.S. government.
Florida Whistleblower’s Act
Many employees who notice government safety and health violations or other illegal activities never come forward for fear of being fired or suffering other repercussions. However, under the Florida Whistleblower’s Act, individuals in the private and public sector who wish to report employer wrongdoing have extensive protections.
This whistleblower’s law has two intentions:
It prevents agencies or independent contractors from taking retaliatory action against an employee who reports to an appropriate agency violations of law on the part of a public employer or independent contractor that create a substantial and specific danger to the public’s health, safety, or welfare.
The law also prevents agencies or independent contractors from taking retaliatory action against any person who discloses information to an appropriate agency alleging improper use of governmental office, gross waste of funds, or any other abuse or gross neglect of duty on the part of an agency, public officer, or employee.
Compensation under the Florida Whistleblower’s Act
Depending on your case and whether the state Florida Whistleblower’s Act or federal False Claims Act applies, you may be entitled to different forms of compensation. If you file a claim under the requirements of the Florida Whistleblower’s Act, you may be entitled to the following forms of compensation:
- Reinstatement of your full fringe benefits and seniority rights, as applicable.
- Reinstatement to the same position you had before your employer retaliated against you, or to an equivalent position or reasonable front pay as alternative relief.
- Compensation, if applicable, for lost wages, benefits, or other lost remuneration caused by your employer’s retaliation.
It is important to understand that receiving compensation in a whistleblower case depends on how strong your case is, how big the fraud you report is, and the competency of your legal team. The moment you suspect government fraud may be occurring, consult with a knowledgeable attorney immediately.
The False Claims Act
In addition to receiving protections under the Florida Whistleblower’s Act, whistleblowers in Tallahassee are also protected under the federal False Claims Act. The False Claim Act was first created during the Civil War to end defense contractor fraud affecting the U.S. Army.
Today, millions of Americans are protected from retaliation from government employers as a result of this law. If you report an instance of fraud under The False Claims Act, you may be entitled to up to triple damages and 15 to 30 percent of the recovered funds.
Since spotting government fraud is not always easy, following are a few examples of fraudulent activities commonly reported:
- Billing for work not performed
- Double billing
- Billing for premium services when normal services were provided
- Phantom employees
- Falsifying production records for natural resources
- Charging for research not performed
- Forging doctor signatures to obtain reimbursement from Medicare or Medicaid
Contact an Experienced Team of Whistleblower Attorneys in Tallahassee
Thanks to whistleblowers, countless funds have been recovered for the U.S. government and its citizens. However, being a whistleblower takes courage. Let our savvy legal team bolster your voice and help you fight against fraud. At Morgan & Morgan, we work tirelessly to get you rightful compensation. To discuss your Tallahassee whistleblower case with a lawyer today, call (850) 329-6895 or contact us online.