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Martin & Bonnett, Phoenix Employment Lawyers
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Whistleblower Protection

Whistleblower Protection and Qui Tam Claims

Our Phoenix employment lawyers aggressively represent whistleblowers across the country who suffer retaliation for reporting their employer’s wrongful acts.

Employers expect loyalty from their employees. Companies who are engaging in illegal activities may expect their workers to look the other way. Illegal corporate conduct, such as, dumping toxic chemicals or overcharging a government agency, represent violations of the law. An employee speaking on such matters is generally protected from retaliatory actions by their employer.

An employee cannot be fired or retaliated against for disclosing that he or she has information, or a reasonable belief, that the employer has violated, is violating, or will violate the law. Several federal and state law include provisions that protect employees for “blowing the whistle” on (or reporting) an employer’s illegal actions.

We will stand up for your rights against employers and make sure you get the compensation or other remedy you deserve.

Federal Law

Under federal law, an employee may not be retaliated against for:

  • participating in an investigation, proceeding or hearing;
  • reporting or filing a charge of discrimination based on age, race, gender, disability, religion, ethnicity, or national origin;
  • reporting violations of the Federal Labor Standards Act (FLSA) for unpaid wages or overtime;
  • reporting securities violations;
  • reporting occupational safety or health concerns; or
  • reporting a fraud on or false claim submitted to the federal government.

Qui Tam Lawsuits. Individuals or companies that submit false claims for payment of government funds may be liable for three times the government’s damages, plus tough civil penalties.

The federal False Claims Act permits a whistleblower, who has knowledge of a current or past fraud on the federal government, to bring a claim on behalf of the government to recover the government and taxpayer’s lost funds. The False Claims Act provides job protection to whistleblowers, and it financially rewards whistleblowers whose qui tam lawsuits recover government funds.

Some common types of fraud against the government include:

  • “phantom billing,” i.e., billing for services not rendered or goods not provided;
  • billing for unnecessary or add-on services, to increase revenue rather than to reflect actual work that is necessary or performed;
  • billing for unordered or unnecessary goods, equipment or supplies;
  • failing to report overpayment for sale of a good or service;
  • false information, certifications or credentials; and
  • misrepresenting services rendered or supplies provided, such as entering wrong billing codes for medical services or billing for premium equipment and providing inferior equipment.

Arizona Law

Under Arizona law, an employee may not be fired in retaliation for:

  • refusing to commit an act that would violate state law;
  • choosing not to join a labor organization;
  • exercising workers’ compensation rights;
  • exercising voting rights;
  • exercising victim’s rights to be present at certain legal proceedings;
  • exercising the right to be free from extortion of fees as a condition of employment;
  • exercising the right to be free from coercion to purchase goods or supplies as a condition of employment;
  • filing a charge or participating in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing under civil rights laws for discrimination;
  • participating in a proceeding concerning minimum wages paid to minors; or
  • filing a complaint or participating in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing under state occupational safety and health or pesticide control laws.

Whistleblower Rights

It is not uncommon for employees to be wrongfully terminated for reporting their employer’s violations of the law. While employment in Arizona is in general an "at-will" arrangement (i.e., an employee may be fired for no cause), employees nonetheless have protections against termination or other adverse employment actions for reporting their employer’s illegal deeds.

At Martin & Bonnett PLLC, we will discuss what rights you may have even as an "at-will" employee and what remedies you may be entitled to receive if those rights are violated by your employer. We have represented employees who were fired for asserting their rights in reporting to federal or state government agencies various types of employer misconduct.

We will meet with you and discuss the events that led up to your termination. Your case will receive a thorough review and analysis. While we also strive to resolve employment disputes through negotiation, we will not hesitate to litigate your wrongful termination claims in court.

Do You Have a Case?

Many employees may be unaware that they have a claim or do not know how to pursue a claim. Therefore, it is important to consult with an experienced employment law attorney to determine whether you have a claim and what your legal options are.

We Can Help. At Martin & Bonnett PLLC, we diligently defend the rights of our clients and hold employers accountable for unlawful employment practices.

Our extensive background gives us insight into analyzing your case to determine your rights and whether remedies are available without having to file a lawsuit. If that option is not available, we will discuss with you the possibility of filing a lawsuit against your employer.

For more information contact us at 602-240-6900 or 800-952-4750, or use our convenient, confidential Contact Form.

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