Whistleblower Protection Claims
You can get whistleblower protection under several different laws, including the Dodd-Frank Act, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, or the False Claims Act. Sometimes you may have a claim under more than one law. Depending on the circumstances, you may have different remedies through the SEC bounty program or the CFTC bounty program. If you are concerned about disclosing apparent wrongdoing by a New York employer, the New York City whistleblower lawyers at Phillips & Associates may be able to help.Protection for Whistleblowers Disclosing Employer Misconduct
Employees who blow the whistle on their employers' wrongdoing may have protection, depending on the laws that potentially apply. The goal of these laws is to encourage employees to stop, report, or testify about illegal acts by employers, such as violations of securities regulations or making false claims.
Each law defines which whistleblower activity is protected, and to what extent. For example, Sarbanes-Oxley may protect your whistleblowing if you work for a publicly traded company, and you provide information to the SEC and certain other authorities about SEC regulatory violations or federal law violations that constitute fraud against corporate shareholders. For another example, under the False Claims Act, you may be able to file a sealed and initially confidential qui tam action under the False Claims Act if you have evidence that your employer is committing fraud against federal programs or contracts. It can be important to consult a whistleblower attorney in New York City to make sure that you comply with the legal requirements when filing a report.Taking Action Against Retaliation
Often, these laws prohibit employer retaliation against whistleblowers, and you may have the right to sue if your employer retaliates against you in violation of the law. In many instances, there is a brief window of time within which to pursue a retaliation claim, so it is important to consult an attorney as soon as you believe that you are being subjected to retaliation. It can be a good idea to consult an attorney even before providing information to a governmental authority.
Most whistleblower claims require you to show that you are an employee or person otherwise covered by the whistleblower statute on which you are relying, the defendant is an employer or person who is covered under the whistleblower statute, you engaged in protected activity as a whistleblower, the defendant knew or had knowledge that you engaged in whistleblowing, the defendant retaliated against you at least partly because you engaged in protected activity, and you were terminated or adversely treated with regard to a term or condition of employment.
Your New York City whistleblower attorney may be able to show that the discharge or other adverse action constituted retaliation based on evidence such as the employer's hostile approach to your protected activity, its knowledge of your protected activity, the nature of your protected activity, prior good performance reports, the timing of the discharge or threats, and retaliation against other employees who acted similarly. One of the strongest signs of retaliation is if you had very good performance reports before engaging in the protected activity but received poor performance reports afterward.
Timing is also critical. If you were fired shortly after your employer learned that you reported a securities violation to the SEC under Dodd-Frank, this may be retaliation. Similarly, if you provide a tip about a pump and dump scheme to the CFTC or a securities violation to the SEC, so your employer comes under investigation for it and learns that you gave the tip, and then you are terminated, this may be retaliation.Contact a Knowledgeable Whistleblower Lawyer in New York City
It is important to retain an experienced attorney if you are planning to report your employer to the authorities. If you are concerned about a whistleblower protection claim in a New York workplace, you should consult an employment litigator. Contact Phillips & Associates at (212) 248-7431 or through our online form for a free consultation. We handle employment litigation in the boroughs of the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, and Manhattan; the counties of Westchester, Nassau, and Suffolk; as well as New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania.
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