Washington, D.C. Whistleblower Lawyers Provide Strong Advocacy
Tenacious attorneys litigate workplace retaliation cases for workers and businesses
Whistleblowers perform a valuable public service by revealing illegal and harmful conduct that might otherwise remain hidden from scrutiny, but they also put their careers at risk. The U.S. government and the District of Columbia have both enacted laws to protect whistleblowers, at least in some circumstances, from retaliation by their employers. At Cashdan & Kane, PLLC in Washington, D.C., we help protect whistleblowing employees’ rights and litigate on their behalf when businesses take unwarranted action against them. We also advise employers on how to avoid violating whistleblower laws and represent them when they are accused of retaliating unlawfully against workers.
What is a whistleblower?
A whistleblower is an employee who discloses purportedly illegal conduct by their employer that isn’t related to the employee’s own workplace rights. For instance, you qualify as a whistleblower if you reveal that the management of your company committed bribery, financial fraud, environmental violations, conduct threatening consumer safety or crimes.
Whether or not whistleblowers are protected from retaliation for disclosing alleged misconduct is determined by statute. For instance, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act prohibits companies whose stock is publicly traded from retaliating against employees who give truthful information about the commission of a federal offense to internal management, regulatory authorities or law enforcement. Complaints to supervisors will not be anonymous, but complaints to regulators or law enforcement can be. If management does retaliate against you, you may have a cause of action against them for your damages.
If you think you might need to act as a whistleblower or have a claim for retaliation, we will analyze your situation, give you reliable advice on your options and, if necessary, help you blow the whistle and represent you in a retaliation lawsuit. For employers, our firm provides counsel as to whether an employee is a protected whistleblower and defends against complaints brought by workers who claim to be whistleblowers.
How is the District of Columbia’s whistleblower law different from federal law?
The District of Columbia’s whistleblower law is called the False Claims Act. It prohibits businesses from making false or fraudulent claims for payment from the District’s government, and permits whistleblowers to file what are known as qui tam lawsuits. These claims empower a plaintiff to file suit on the District’s behalf to retrieve the improperly paid money.
Under the DC law, the District’s Attorney General has a right to take over control of the lawsuit, but the whistleblower may proceed alone if the Attorney General doesn’t. The whistleblower may be awarded up to 25 percent of what the Attorney General wins and up to 30 percent of what the whistleblower wins on their own. The law also protects whistleblowers from retaliation for suing or assisting the Attorney General, which is narrower than the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which protects those who raise other types of complaints. Our employment law attorneys can determine what your legal options are and protect your rights as a whistleblower.
Whistleblowing and the federal False Claims Act
The federal government has a similar statute authorizing any private citizen with knowledge of fraud against the federal government to file a qui tam lawsuit and obtain part of the money retrieved. Potential grounds for a federal qui tam lawsuit include:
- Fraudulent billing of Medicare and Medicaid
- Financial and investment fraud
- Housing and mortgage fraud
- Defense contract fraud
If you are entitled to bring a qui tam lawsuit or must defend against one, we will represent you professionally and aggressively.
Contact an established whistleblower law attorney for assistance in Washington, D.C.
Cashdan & Kane, PLLC handles whistleblower litigation on behalf of plaintiffs and defendants Washington, D.C. Please call our DC office at 908-264-9331 or contact us online to schedule an appointment. We also have offices in Westfield, Newark and Jersey City, New Jersey.