Texas Whistleblower Lawyer – Texas Whistleblower Lawsuit
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Texas Whistleblower Attorney
Whistleblower claims refer to the reporting of illegal activities or misconduct within a private organization or government agency. A whistleblower is therefore an individual who has evidence of misconduct or fraud, and reports it internally within the organization and/or to the appropriate government agency.
Key Elements of Whistleblower Claims.
There the five key elements to all whistleblower claims, and these include:
- Evidence of Fraud: The cornerstone of all whistleblower claims is proof that misconduct or fraud is the cause of:
o financial loss to the government, which is covered under the False Claims Act and related statutes,
o harm to the general public or employees, which is covered by industry specific whistleblower laws, or
o a violation of the commodities or securities laws, which is covered under the Dodd-Frank Act.
- Concrete and Specific Evidence: A whistleblower must have concrete and specific evidence of the misconduct or fraud when filling a claim. Otherwise, suspicions or doubts are not enough. Documentary evidence might also greatly increase the probability of government interest, although this is not a requirement.
- Original Evidence: In general, whistleblowers must provide the government with new information which it could not have otherwise obtained. However, one does not need to have witnessed the misconduct or fraud in order to have a claim.
- The “First to File” Rule: This rule bars one from bringing a whistleblower claim, if another whistleblower has already filed a similar claim based on the same evidence or facts. However, multiple whistleblowers, can file separate or joint claims that are based on different evidence.
- Statute of Limitations: The statutes of limitations vary depending on the type of the whistleblower claim, and they’re also subject to change. Therefore, potential whistleblowers should seek legal assistance from whistleblower lawyers as soon as they realize that they may have a claim.
Key Whistleblower Laws
There are many laws in the U.S. that protect whistleblowers. These include:
- The False Claims Act that covers whistleblower claims related to corporate misconduct or fraud that leads to a financial loss to the government. It is the most frequently used whistleblower law, and it permits individuals who have knowledge of misconduct or fraud committed against the government to file lawsuits on behalf of the government, so as to recover any financial damages suffered by the government as a result.
- The Dodd-Frank/ Wall Street Reform Act which covers whistleblower claims that relate to misconduct or fraud in the trading or sale of commodities or securities.
- The IRS Whistleblower Law which covers whistleblower claims that relate to tax fraud.
The above mentioned laws provide whistleblowers with protection against retaliation – such as, termination of employment, suspension, demotion, forced transfer, or other forms of employee discrimination- for reporting the misconduct. They also offer financial rewards to individuals who file whistleblower claims that are successful. In addition to these, there are other many industry specific whistleblower laws, which protect employees from retaliation for reporting misconduct or fraud in that industry. These laws relate to: federal employee protection, environmental protection, employment discrimination, maritime safety, mine safety, pipeline safety, transportation safety, airline safety, the military, nuclear safety, food product safety, consumer products safety, and consumer finance protection.