Compelling Reasons to Become a Whistleblower
Whistleblowers are equal parts hero and villain, depending on which side one is standing on. They face considerable challenges, not the least is the potential for retaliatory, albeit illegal, actions taken by the employer. So why do people decide to step forward and speak out about illicit activities going on behind the scenes?
There is no question that most whistleblowers decide to take action because they feel their sense of justice and code of ethics compels them to do so. Whistleblowers understand that the illicit activity taking place isn’t just illegal—it can also be harmful. Illicit actions may harm the community, jeopardize the health of the employees, compromise environmental safety, or defraud the government and, ultimately, taxpayers. Whistleblowers are driven by a strong sense of integrity. They simply want to do the right thing.
When a qui tam lawsuit is filed against a company or agency that is violating regulations, it’s possible that compensation will be recovered. The federal government may recover funds through a settlement or jury award. When this happens, the whistleblower is entitled to receive a sizable percentage of the recovered funds. Financial gain certainly isn’t the only reason why whistleblowers feel compelled to step forward, but it can serve as a motivator, particularly when the whistleblower is concerned about retaliatory employment actions.
In some cases, whistleblowers are motivated by a sense of self-preservation. There is one famous case in which a Vietnam veteran became a whistleblower when he realized his Medicare claim was denied due to egregious overbilling for services he hadn’t received. As a result, the veteran, who had muscular dystrophy, couldn’t get the care that he truly needed. He brought a qui tam lawsuit in an effort to stop the Medicare fraud, and so that he could receive the medical care he needed.
Mesch Clark Rothschild provides effective legal advocacy services to clients involved in whistleblowing actions. We believe our successful track record speaks for itself. Call our law firm in Tucson at (520) 624-8886 to request an appointment with a skilled attorney.