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4 Different Contexts in Which an Individual Can Be a Whistleblower

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Whistleblowing, in the simplest terms, is the act of an employee or employees disclosing information about a company or corporation that they believe is unlawful, an abuse of power, and poses a substantial risk to the public’s health and safety. Whistleblowers are protected under numerous laws from retaliation by their employers. Employer retaliation usually comes in the form of an unfavorable administrative decision following the disclosure of information that may include employee discipline, demotion, harassment, a withdrawal of company privileges, and dismissal.

At The Law Firm of Jacobson & Rooks, LLC, our Philadelphia employment discrimination lawyers are dedicated to protecting and defending the rights of whistleblowers who have been retaliated against by their employers. Today, we’d like to discuss the different contexts in which an individual can be a whistleblower and how our firm can help in each situation.

Pennsylvania Whistleblower Law – Any company that receives state funds, which has now been expanded into the private sector, will be subject to liability if an employee (or independent contractor) makes a “good faith report” on the company’s wrongdoing or waste. Under the PA Whistleblower Law, employees are protected and cannot be discharged, threatened, or otherwise discriminated against after making their “good faith reports.”

If you or someone you know has reported a waste of funds or another instance of wrongdoing in good faith and as a result been terminated very close in time — you may have a PA Whistleblower claim and potential wrongful termination claim on your hands. Contact the South Jersey employment discrimination lawyers at The Law Firm of Jacobson & Rooks, LLC to file suit today.

OSHA & OSH Act – Healthcare employees have a right to a safe and hazard-free workplace under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSH). If at any time an employee feels his or her health and safety is at risk, and the employer does not immediately eliminate or mitigate the hazard, the employee can and should report it to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). From there OSHA or a state counterpart may conduct a thorough inspection of the facility and take the necessary steps to correct the health and safety issues identified. Employees who make such reports are protected under the OSH Act from being discriminated or retaliated against.

NJ Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA) – The NJ Conscientious Employee Protection Act prohibits all private and public entities from taking retaliatory action against an employee who discloses or threatens to disclose a violation of the law by that employer or objects to taking part in any type of illegal activity. Protection under New Jersey CEPA is also available for employees who testify before a public body that is conducting an investigation in regards to the violation of the law. Written notice of the disclosure must be brought to the attention of the employer with time to correct the activity for the employee to be protected against any retaliatory action.

False Claims Act – The False Claims Act, which has also been known to be called “Lincoln Law” imposes liability on [mostly] federal contractors that defraud government programs. Medicare and Medicaid programs are at the center of a lot of these fraudulent schemes. Individuals or Qui Tam plaintiffs, or realtors can sue for violations of the False Claims Act and remain protected from discrimination, harassment, and termination.

If you or someone you know has been involved in any of the above contexts, and need the help of a competent whistleblower attorney to file suit, The Law Firm of Jacobson & Rooks, LLC can be reached at 800-406-8013.