Whistleblower Claims

We all like to hope that if we were to witness illegal conduct at our workplaces, we would stand up and report it. Unfortunately, employers often exert tremendous pressure on their employees not to do so, threatening their employees’ jobs and livelihoods for drawing attention to illegal activities. Fortunately, lawmakers at the state and federal levels have enacted provisions that incentivize employees with monetary awards and that protect them from retaliation so that employees can do the right thing without fear of ending up destitute. Our attorneys at The Harman Firm, LLP understand these provisions and fight for whistleblowers’ rights.

Types of whistleblower rights

  1. Sarbanes-Oxley/Dodd-Frank
    • SOX applies to publicly traded companies; Dodd-Frank applies to both public and privately held companies.

    • Allows for a whistleblower to receive cash awards between 10% and 30% of the amount recovered.

    • Protects an employee from retaliation for disclosing any information that is protected or required under SOX; the Securities Exchange Act of 1934; any other law, rule or regulation subject to the jurisdiction of the Securities and Exchange Commission; and reporting truthful information relating to federal crimes.

  2. False Claims Act/New York State False Claims Act
    • The False Claim Act applies to any individual or company claiming money or property from the federal government; the New York State False Claims Act applies to any individual or company claiming money or property from a New York state or local government.

    • Like Dodd-Frank, the False Claims Act and New York State False Claims Act allow for a whistleblower to receive cash awards between 15% and 25% of the amount recovered.

    • Protects an employee from retaliation for reporting or participating in a legal proceeding or investigation related to a false claim made by his or her employer for government payments.

  3. New York State Whistleblower Protection

    • N.Y. Civ. Serv. Law § 75-b
      • Only applies to public employees.

      • Protects an employee from retaliation for disclosing to a government body information, which the employee reasonably believes to be true and improper governmental action, regarding a violation of law, rule or regulation which creates a substantial and specific danger to public health and safety.

    • N.Y. Labor Law § 740
      • Applies to all employees.

      • Protects an employee from retaliation for a variety of activities related the reporting of a specific danger to public health or safety that violates any law, or health care fraud.

    • N.Y. Labor Law § 741
      • Applies to any individual who performs health care services for and under the control and direction of any employer who provides health care services.

      • Protects such an employee from retaliation for a variety of activities related to the reporting of conduct that the employee in good faith reasonably believes constitutes improper quality of patient care, or that violates any law, rule, regulation relating to matters which may present a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety or a significant threat to the health of a specific patient.

Employees should bring an employer’s illegal actions or practices to light. Contact The Harman Firm, LLP for supportive counseling and aggressive representation, devoted to protecting your interests and rights as an employee.