Experienced Phoenix Qui Tam Attorneys for Wrongful Termination Claims
Helping Arizona whistleblowers who have been fired for exercising their rights
The laws of our country encourage individuals to speak out against unlawful actions by their employers. Whether the issue involves work safety violations, environmental wrongdoings or financial fraud, the federal government recognizes the value in protecting employees who choose to report such harmful actions. It is called whistleblowing, and federal laws prohibit employers from retaliating against these employees.
Honesty and integrity are extremely important values at Plattner Verderame, P.C., and we are proud to represent clients who exemplify the same ethical beliefs. Often, companies attempt to terminate the employment of the whistleblower in response to his or her reporting. This behavior is illegal, and our knowledgeable Phoenix qui tam lawyers fight to protect whistleblowers from retaliation. We work hard to hold employers accountable for their unlawful actions.
Can I be fired for whistleblowing in Arizona?
No, you cannot. The Federal False Claims Act contains a provision which makes it illegal to retaliate against a whistleblower. At the state level, the Arizona Employment Protection Act protects workers who report wrongdoing by the company and/or its employees, and protects employees who refuse to violate the Arizona Constitution or laws of Arizona, file a safety complaint, or report that they believe their employers have, violated, or will violate, Arizona’s laws or Constitution.
How can you prove you were fired as retaliation for whistleblowing?
Being terminated for blowing the whistle is illegal, but it happens quite often. Proving the link between your actions and your termination can be a challenge. Direct evidence like an email that says you are causing problems and need to be fired is very, very rare.
Instead, your Phoenix qui tam attorney will look for more subtle yet damning indications that your whistleblowing is the cause of you being fired. This can include:
- Being fired for poor job performance, despite have an excellent record and reviews
- Sudden layoffs that only include you and anyone who may be assisting with your claim
- Testimony from third parties that claim you were fired for blowing the whistle
- Being terminated without warning despite a contractual obligation that requires it
- Being subjected to other retaliatory measures in the days or weeks up to your termination
More often than not, the timing of your termination is the key to proving your claim. We can help you put together a timeline of your actions and the retaliatory measures taken against you, to help strengthen your wrongful termination claim.
Fighting for the rights of whistleblowers
Many employers use job termination as a tactic for punishment or intimidation. They hope that, when faced with the prospect of losing their jobs, workers will choose to stay quiet instead of pursuing a whistleblower claim. In response to these employers, the federal government has instituted various laws and regulations to protect employees from wrongful termination as an act of retaliation. These laws specifically prohibit this type of employer action and also provide employees with the right to bring suit against the employer upon termination of employment.
Our experienced Phoenix whistleblower attorneys assist terminated employees with instituting wrongful termination claims. In these cases, we help employees pursue various remedies, including:
- Being rehired for your position. The employer may be required to rehire the terminated employee within the same or similar position, at a comparable rate of pay.
- Reimbursement of lost wages. We may seek to have the employer repay the whistleblowing employee for wages lost during the period of employment termination.
- Punitive damages for legal violations.Under some circumstances, the employer may be required to pay punitive damages. These awards are essentially meant to punish the employer for the wrongful termination. A punitive award for violations of a whistleblower law amount may equal to triple the amount of the actual damages.
- Payment of the worker’s financial damages.The employer may also be ordered to pay the worker’s lawyers’ fees and court costs associated with bringing the wrongful termination case.
Honest attorneys demanding that honest employees be treated fairly
The False Claims Act is a federal law that authorizes whistleblower actions against government agencies. Also referred to as a qui tam claim, the legislation was enacted in 1863. Its original purpose was to monitor fraudulent activities related to government contracting. Since that time, this valuable legislation has been used to uncover such fraudulent actions as:
- Medicaid and Medicare fraud
- Health care scams
- Disaster relief schemes
- Defense contracting fraud
- Pharmaceutical payment schemes
- Energy industry scams
- Fraud within the financial sector
As the nation’s third largest state for federal government contractors, Arizona offers significant opportunities for fraud and whistleblower actions. Our knowledgeable attorneys have helped numerous employees pursue their claims while maintaining their employment with the company, should they choose to do so.
We understand what’s at stake in whistleblower cases, as well as with wrongful termination matters. These clients are often anxious about disclosing company information and worried about losing their jobs in the process. A successful False Claims Act may result in high-value penalties and substantial compensation for the employee. In some instances, wrongdoers may be ordered to pay three times the dollar value of the proven fraud.
- Arizona’s New Paid Sick Time Laws
- Supreme Court Unanimously Rules to Limit Dodd-Frank Protections for Whistleblower Actions
- Clarifying the Definition of Whistleblower Anti-Retaliation Protections
Talk to a Phoenix wrongful termination lawyer before reporting your employer
Wrongful termination and qui tam cases are extremely complex legal matters. If you were retaliated against by your employer, contact the skilled Phoenix whistleblower retaliation lawyers of Plattner Verderame, P.C. Our attorneys believe that responsible parties should be held accountable for the harm they bring to honest employees. For a confidential discussion about the merits of your claim, call us today at 602-266-2002, or complete our contact form.
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