Diana Servos, principal attorney of S.T. Legal Group in Deerfield, Illinois, is dedicated to resolving employment issues and disputes. In cases of whistleblower retaliation, she is well-respected as a powerful advocate for those who have suffered reprisals for reporting illegal activities by their employers. If you have been mistreated in this way, contact our office for a quick response and strong legal representation. We are also available to provide skillful defense for employers who have been unjustly accused.
In Illinois, as throughout the country, whistleblowers can be victims as well as heroes since the brave act of complaining about illegal workplace activity is too often met with whistleblower retaliation.
If you find yourself “punished” by your employer for shedding light on workplace misconduct, the law offers you protection, but you will need the strength and skill of an accomplished employment attorney to see that the law is enforced. This is the time to contact Diana Servos.
What do whistleblowers blow the whistle on?
Whistleblowers are employees who report conduct at the workplace that is illegal, illicit, unsafe, fraudulent, or an abuse of taxpayer funds. Examples of such misconduct include:
- Misrepresenting the company’s financial condition by providing false or misleading information (“cooking the books”)
- Engaging in shareholder fraud, bribery, embezzlement, kickbacks
- Over-billing for services or billing for services not rendered
- Producing/distributing/selling faulty, dangerous, or mislabeled products
- Engaging in systemic racial or sexual discrimination
- Violating safety or environmental codes
- Failing to pay overtime
- Lying on tax returns
Federal and Illinois state laws explicitly prohibit employer retaliation for whistleblowing. One example of such legislation is the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (a federal statute passed in 2002) that offers whistleblower protection to employees who report financial irregularities and shareholder fraud.
However, even when an employee files a complaint, though enforcement agencies may investigate, impose a fine, or report that the company has violated the law, they will not fight for the whistleblower’s rights. It will take an experienced whistleblower retaliation attorney to file a lawsuit to vindicate you and win the compensation you deserve.
How do employers engage in whistleblower retaliation?
There are several ways an employer can illegally retaliate against an employee who has raised a serious complaint or refused to engage in an illegal act — including by demoting, terminating, and in some cases threatening the whistleblower.
Whatever type of whistleblower retaliation you have suffered, S.T. Legal Group is here to stand up for your rights, during forceful negotiations or in a court of law. On the other hand, if you are an employer who has been wrongfully accused of whistleblower retaliation by an incompetent or disgruntled employer, contacting us can save you from economic and reputational harm.
Damages We Will Fight to Win in Your Whistleblower Retaliation Case
No doubt you have been through a harrowing ordeal. Depending on the specifics of your case, S.T. Legal will seek damages for:
- Back pay (both wages and benefits) lost due to wrongful termination
- Reinstatement in your job, or front pay, i.e. wages you will lose until you find a new job
- Out-of-pocket expenses necessary in your search for employment
- Attorneys’ fees and court costs.
In some cases, we may also be able to win you damages for pain and suffering that resulted from your employer’s retaliatory actions. It may even be possible, especially in cases of extreme health and safety claims, to receive punitive damages.
What are qui tam lawsuits?
Qui tam lawsuits are filed under The False Claims Act (“the Lincoln Law”) which has, since 1863 prevented companies from providing inferior goods and services to the U.S. government. The act has been amended many times, most notably in 1986 when it came to include monetary rewards to those whose whistleblowing protected the country.
Basically, a qui tam case is brought forward by a private party on behalf of the U.S. government. In exchange, the whistleblower receives a monetary reward for her or his contribution when the case is settled. The False Claims Act makes such whistleblowing lucrative as well as morally satisfying since qui tam relators are now entitled to between 15 and 30 percent of the money the government recovers in penalties.
In 30 states, including Illinois, there are state laws in addition to The False Claims Act that reward whistleblowers who speak up to protect the public. In some cases, as S.T. Legal will advise you, it is possible to file complaints with both the state and the federal government, and to receive separate whistleblower rewards from each.
Examples of Qui Tam Lawsuits
An employer with firsthand knowledge of her/his company’s illegal dealings with state or federal government or violations of employment law report:
- Overcharging the government for incomplete, inferior or defective goods or services
- Seeking a government contract under false pretenses or through bribery
- Submitting a false application for a government loan or grant
- Demanding payment for goods or services that do not meet to contractual requirements
- Submitting a claim falsely certifying that legal, contractual or regulatory requirements have been met
- Attempting to pay the government less than is actually owed
It should be noted that you will only receive an award if and when the government recovers penalties from your employer as a result of your lawsuit.
Services Diana Servos Will Provide as your Whistleblower Retaliation Attorney
Once you contact S.T. Legal Group, we will act quickly since it is essential to gather evidence that closely connects your complaint and your employer’s retaliatory action to show that one led to the other. We will:
- Listen carefully to the details of your case
- Interview any witnesses
- Gather supporting evidence, e.g. documents, spreadsheets, emails, texts
- Estimate how much your claim may be worth
- Develop a winning strategy
Then, depending on circumstances, we will test the waters to see whether your employer will be amenable to a reasonable negotiated settlement. If not, be assured that Diana Servos is well-prepared to fight aggressively to protect your right to a substantial award from a court verdict.
Contact an Experienced Whistleblower Retaliation Attorney Today
Diana Servos is an outstanding employment attorney with the credentials and track record to prove it. If you have experienced the physical, emotional, and financial distress that comes with whistleblower retaliation, get in touch with S.T. Legal Group. We have the power and well-honed skills to help you fight back.