Whistleblower

Whistleblower and Qui Tam Claims in Texas

Houston Employment Law Attorneys Help You Fight Misconduct

Working under an employer who is violating the law or government regulations presents employees with a difficult situation. Fortunately, federal laws protect individuals who report violations or misconduct to government agencies or law enforcement authorities, and so do Texas laws under certain circumstances. These laws make employer retaliation illegal.

Individuals may even initiate lawsuits along with the federal government against acts of fraud. This type of joint claim is referred to as a qui tam lawsuit, and "whistleblower" is the term used for an individual engaged in bringing such a lawsuit or reporting wrongful activity. Guerra & Farah, PLLC provides legal representation for whistleblowers in qui tam actions and for employees subject to retaliation based on whistleblowing activity. Our Houston employment lawyers are available 24 / 7, and we take cases on a contingent-fee basis, which means you pay us only if we recover compensation for you.

Federal Claims Act

In an effort to crack down on fraud against the government, Congress passed the False Claims Act, which allows private citizens to bring lawsuits on behalf of the government against employers who commit government fraud. Examples of qui tam cases include:

  • Medicare fraud
  • Off-label drug promotion
  • Intentional sales of defective products
  • Changing expiration labels on food products
  • False marketing practices involving pharmaceutical drugs

Under the False Claims Act, a whistleblower may be entitled to 15 - 25% of the recovery of damages awarded in the case, along with attorney fees.

Federal Whistleblower Protection Act

There is a federal Whistleblower Protection Act in addition to a Whistleblower Protection Act provided by Texas law. These laws provide whistleblower protection for government employees who report violations of laws, rules and regulations, or waste of funds, significant danger to public health and safety, or management abuse. Whistleblowers only receive protection against retaliation for their whistleblower activity when reporting actions that are serious and not minor, inadvertent mistakes. It is wise to consult an employment lawyer before engaging in whistleblower activity to ensure that understand your rights and know to what degree your legal protections will safeguard you.

Public but not private employees may seek legal protection under the Texas Whistleblower Act when reporting certain governmental or public employee legal violations to law enforcement authorities. Types of damages you may seek to recover include attorneys' fees, wages (current and back pay), and other damages (but not punitive damages). The law expects whistleblowers to employ administrative remedies before resorting to legal actions. Types of whistleblower activities for which you may seek state protection include medical workers who are engaged as whistleblowers and were subsequently fired, physicians fired for reporting actions to the State Board of Medical Examiners, or nurses fired for reporting substandard nursing to the Board of Nurse Examiners. To learn whether you have grounds for legal action, contact Guerra & Farah, PLLC today!

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