Whistleblowers often fail to come forward for various reasons without realizing that these reasons aren’t accurate.
If you have evidence of alleged fraud, don’t talk yourself out of doing what’s right because of any perceived roadblock. The realities show that these roadblocks often are not true, and an experienced whistleblower attorney can help you find out whether the misconduct you’ve witnessed qualifies as fraud.
Here are five potential roadblocks that may be preventing you from stepping forward with a whistleblower claim, and why you should not let them stop you from filing a claim.
Roadblock: You’re scared of retaliation.
Reality: There are laws that protect whistleblowers from any retaliation. Since the Civil War, the United States has had laws in place that protect whistleblowers who expose fraud against the government. In addition to federal laws, there are also many state laws that also protect whistleblowers from being harassed, fired or experiencing other forms of retaliation.
Roadblock: You don’t want to lose the successful career you’ve built.
Reality: It is illegal for someone to be discharged, demoted, suspended, harassed, or discriminated against in any way for filing a whistleblower claim.
Roadblock: You won’t get anything out of being a whistleblower.
Reality: Reporting fraud can help your colleagues and improve your industry. In some cases, whistleblowers can receive financial incentives for reporting fraud. The laws protecting whistleblowers also entitle these individuals to compensation for their bravery and potential sacrifice. Whistleblowers are entitled to 15% to 30% of the government’s total recovery.
Roadblock: You think you’ll be viewed as a snitch if you come forward.
Reality: While there are many depictions of whistleblowers as disgruntled employees, studies show that individuals who come forward with whistleblower claims are actually employees with more tenure and a higher salary. Whistleblowers are known to be driven by fairness.
Roadblock: You’re afraid you might be complicit, and you could get in trouble too.
Reality: Deciding to do the right thing can only work in your favor. Even if you played a part in the fraud you’d like to report, you may still be eligible to receive a portion of the government’s recovery depending on the level of your involvement. Ultimately, the government decides any applicable penalties, criminal prosecution, or reductions of your reward.
If you’ve been weighing the pros and cons of speaking up about fraud that you’ve witnessed, contact our whistleblower attorneys today to discuss your options. We always offer a free and confidential case evaluation.