If you are an employee of an electronic health record (EHR) software provider that you believe is committing fraud and you want to do the right thing and report its misdoings, there are laws that help to protect you. Retaliation for reporting fraud is prohibited, which means that employers are no longer immune from liability for retaliation if you report the fraud. Organizations cannot demand that their employees stay blindly loyal, nor can companies quiet employees with threats. Even so, you may be concerned with the type of protection that you are entitled to if you become a whistleblower.
What is a Whistleblower?
Typically, whistleblowers are loyal employees. They usually have strong moral beliefs and are motivated to correct wrongdoing, and feel that they must report misconduct by an employer when they observe it.
Whistleblowers are protected from being mistreated or fired for reporting their employers’ misconduct by various whistleblower protection laws. You may find yourself in need of protection in situations like the following:
- you have or plan to make a claim against your employer under the False Claim Act
- you made an internal report that your employer’s conduct violates a federal or state law or regulation
- you made an external report to an outside agency that your employer’s conduct violates a federal or state law or regulation
- you made an internal report that your employer is treating you in a manner that violates a federal or state law or regulation
- you made an external report to an outside agency that your employer is treating you in a manner that violates a federal or state law or regulation
More about Whistleblowing Law
If you have or plan to make a claim against your employer or about your employer’s practices, there are two main aspects of whistleblowing law that are important for you to understand: whistleblower retaliation, and how to protect yourself.
Retaliation from an Employer
In some instances, when an employee reports an employer’s wrongdoings, he or she may experience some sort of punishment or retaliation from the employer for doing so. The retaliation may be subtle or obvious, and there is often a concern or fear that he or she will be fired or discredited within the industry in which he or she is employed.
If this happens to you, it can be a very upsetting and a difficult situation to deal with, as it may affect your livelihood, your reputation, and your career. Some examples of retaliation in the workplace are:
- a demotion
- denying benefits or advancement opportunities
- setting unrealistic sales goals or reducing a representative’s sales territory
- giving poor performance reviews
- threatening or abusive behavior
- terminating employment
If you have discovered or observed illegal conduct at work that you believe constitutes fraud against you or others, and if you feel that you need to take action regarding the misconduct, it is always in your best interest to contact a whistleblower attorney to help you with your case. While the sooner you consult an attorney the better, legal representation is beneficial at every stage of the process.
Before blowing the whistle – If you seek legal help prior to reporting fraudulent or illegal behavior, your attorney can help prevent or minimize negative consequences and help you understand and protect your rights. Also, an attorney can play an essential role in helping you know what and how to gather the proof you need for a whistleblower claim.
While you are still employed – If you have already made a report regarding your employer’s illegal conduct, your attorney can help you recognize and address any retaliation you may experience.
Prior to or after termination – If you have already been fired or expect that it is imminent, an attorney can help you negotiate a severance, file a whistleblower claim, and take other appropriate action on your behalf.
The key to protecting yourself is finding a whistleblower attorney to represent you in your case. Not only will doing so minimize negative reactions, address retaliation, and help you negotiate a severance, it will also provide you with guidance, support, and peace of mind.
Let Ross Feller Casey Help You with Your Whistleblower Case
At Ross Feller Casey, we have attorneys who are knowledgeable about whistleblower cases and who have a proven track record in winning these types of lawsuits. Contact us for a free evaluation of your case, and we will help you determine the best course of action for your situation.
Our cases are handled on a contingency basis, so you will not be charged unless financial compensation is awarded to you.