Whistleblower Law Blog

How Does Causation Factor into a Whistleblower Claim?

August 2, 2016
In whistleblower cases, the employee’s protected activity usually consists of clear and tangible conduct. Disputes about this element of the claim depend on whether the employee reasonably believed she was objecting to unlawful conduct and expressed that opposition clearly enough. Similarly, the adverse action element is...

How Does the Amended FCA Alter the Scope of Whistleblower Protections?

July 27, 2016
A defense contractor fired an employee after he complained about overbilling of the government. The employee’s counsel knows that numerous anti-retaliation protections may apply, with the False Claims Act (FCA) and the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) being two strong candidates. But which should they assert? A recent...

SCOTUS Ruling May Increase FCA Whistleblower Claims

July 26, 2016
The Supreme Court in a recent decision has potentially increased the number of claims available to whistleblowers under the False Claims Act (FCA). The decision in Universal Health Services, Inc. v. United States ex rel. Escobar resolved a dispute among lower courts as to whether whistleblowers can pursue claims under the “...

Truck Driver Wins STAA Whistleblower Claim Against Retaliatory Employer

July 21, 2016
It is not uncommon for commercial truck drivers to encounter unforeseen delays or obstacles that make the on-time delivery of their product impossible without violating the U.S. Department of Transportation’s hours of service regulations, which limit the number of consecutive hours a commercial motor vehicle driver can drive in...

OSHA Targets Executives for Retaliating Against Whistleblowers

July 19, 2016
Everybody deserves a safe workplace, and our workplaces cannot be safe when workers do not feel comfortable reporting safety issues to their supervisors or federal regulators. Two recent complaints filed by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) demonstrate the importance of...

4 Anti-Retaliation Laws Whistleblowers Should Know

July 14, 2016
If you have recently been fired, demoted or harassed at work because you objected to conduct you believed was wrong – or if you are considering making an objection or complaint – you may be wondering whether any federal laws exist that might offer you protection against retaliation. While in many cases an at-will employee may...

Is It Retaliation? Exploring the Line Between Justified and Adverse Actions

July 11, 2016
Courts reviewing whistleblower retaliation claims generally apply the standard developed in Title VII retaliation cases to determine whether actionable retaliation has occurred. That standard, announced by the Supreme Court in Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Ry. Co. v. White, 548 U.S. 53, 68 (2006), requires proof that an...

6 Whistleblower Don'ts Every Employee Should Know

July 6, 2016
If you have blown the whistle on wrongdoing by your employer, there is a wealth of good advice about what you should do if you face retaliation. But it also is important to know what you shouldn’t do during the whistleblower process. Many employees ruin strong retaliation claims – and even expose themselves to legal liability...

8th Circuit Relies on 'Sylvester' Standard in Recent Whistleblower Case

June 23, 2016
My colleagues and I have written frequently about the complex web of legal issues facing corporate whistleblowers. A recent decision out of the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, Beacom v. Oracle, looked at two of these issues: 1) the appropriate legal standard to satisfy the “reasonable belief” requirement that employees must meet...

Reporting Fraud Outweighs Privacy Agreement, Court Rules

June 21, 2016
The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois handed down a favorable decision for whistleblowers in qui tam cases that weighed confidentiality agreements against the importance of reporting fraud. [See United States ex rel. Cieszynski Lifewatch Servs., Inc., No. 13 CV 4052, 2016 WL 2771798 (N.D. Ill. May 13,...

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