Whistleblowers and Employement

Thinking of filing a case under the False Claims Act but unsure of how it will affect your employment? A whistleblower attorney discusses what you should know about being a whistleblower and whether it can affect your future job prospects. To learn more call and schedule a consultation today.

How Can Blowing The Whistle Impact My Job?

One common question potential whistleblowers have is whether blowing the whistle could negatively impact your job. Generally it does not, however in some cases it does.

In most instances, False Claims Act (pdf) cases are filed under seal which means nobody will know that the case has been filed. Often even when these cases are unsealed it only becomes a big deal when they are litigated or settled. For this reason, whistleblower cases usually do not have any impact on employment status unless they blow the whistle publicly or talk to people at work.

With that said there are instances where it can have an impact, especially if the employer is confronted with a huge claim or if they figure out using the process of elimination why the department of justice is investigating them. Of course in many cases the whistleblower can move jobs before any of this happens.

Can Blowing the Whistle Affect Future Job Prospects?

Typically it does not have much of an effect, however it is possible that it can. Usually it’s more of a question of obtaining a job prior to anyone knowing that a case has been filed under seal.

Will Your Employers Know You Were a Whistleblower?

Under the SEC whistleblower and the CFTC whistleblower laws it’s possible to file anonymously and those agencies have been very good so far about protecting the identity of whistleblowers. Under the False Claims Act at some point the case generally comes out of seal and, assuming that it’s not a successful settlement or court proceeding, it’s possible that your employer may find out about it. They may not, obviously, if it’s a successful settlement people are likely to find out about it but you have the solace of having won an award. So that can be some measure of happiness instead of you may not care that people know what happened.

Whistleblower Retaliation

There is a fair amount of law that allows a whistleblower to sue if they’re the subject of retaliation. People refer to those kinds of laws as whistleblower protection laws but it’s important to remember that they don’t work to prevent the retaliation initially. Usually it provides you with a basis to sue if you are retaliated against. Being the subject of retaliation is a horrible thing to go through. So before anyone puts themselves in that position it’s probably smart to talk to a lawyer and see what we’re really talking about.