As an employee, it is important to report your employer's illegal behavior to the appropriate government agency. Employment laws exist to protect employees and the general public against dangerous work conditions, unfair business practices and dangerous or defective products. When employers violate regulations, employees, consumers and the marketplace may be physically and financially injured.
At the Tampa-based firm of Barker | Cook, we represent both employees and employers throughout Florida involved in whistleblowing actions.
Do Whistleblower Protections Apply To Your Situation?
Employees who report their employers' illegal or unethical behavior are known as whistleblowers. When an employee reports his or her employer's illegal conduct — such as bribery, corruption or fraud — to the government or an administrative agency, employers may retaliate by firing or demoting the employee, or by refusing earned promotions.
At Barker | Cook, our lawyers represent both employees and employers involved in whistleblowing actions.
Laws protecting whistleblowers prohibit employers from taking retaliatory action against those who reported their illegal actions. When employees have been fired, demoted or otherwise retaliated against, our firm files claims to stop the offending behavior, reinstate employees to their former positions and pursue any lost wages and benefits, as well as costs associated with the action.
We also represent employers who have been accused of retaliating against whistleblowing employees. We investigate the circumstances leading up to the action taken against the employee and identify legitimate business reasons that negate claims of retaliation.
Does Your Case Concern Claims About Defrauding The Government?
Qui tam is a special kind of whistleblowing case involving claims that an employer has defrauded the federal government.
Employees are rewarded for reporting on this type of fraudulent behavior. The federal government will typically pay the whistleblower a percentage of the recovery it obtains from the business or employer at fault.
At Barker | Cook, we advise employees on whether fraudulent action has taken place, and represent their interest throughout the qui tam action. We also help employers defend against qui tam claims, prove fraudulent behavior has not occurred and help them come into compliance with industry regulations.