How to Strike Back if You Are Fired for Fighting Fraud

A staggering number of whistleblowers are retaliated against each year for having done the right thing and reported fraud. As a result, the whistleblower laws provide important protections for whistleblowers to fight back after suffering negative treatment, and even termination, as a result of blowing the whistle. These tools not only provide an important check on corporate greed, but empower whistleblowers to speak up despite a hostile work environment.

False Claims Act Section (h) Claim

Under 31 USC § 3730 (h) of the False Claims Act, where an employee has been “discharged, demoted, suspended, threatened, harassed, or in any other manner discriminated against in the terms and conditions of employment,” as a result of blowing the whistle, that employee is entitled to be made whole, including reinstatement to the same seniority status as before the retaliation occurred and two times any back pay plus special damages sustained as a result of any discrimination.

SEC Whistleblower

The whistleblower provisions under The Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, covering securities violations and FCPA violations, also provide for reinstatement of anyone who has been retaliated against, and two times back pay. The SEC Whistleblower provisions provide the added protection of statutorily required confidentiality by Government agents, and allowing submissions to be made through an attorney anonymously.

CFTC Whistleblower

Though similar to the SEC retaliation provisions in terms of backpay and reinstatement, the CFTC retaliation provisions differ in a few critical ways – they cannot be invoked by federal employees, the statute of limitations is two as opposed to six years, and the CFTC expressly declines any enforcement authority over any retaliation claims.

IRS Whistleblower

Currently, the IRS Whistleblower Program does not provide any explicit retaliation protection, but proposals have been made and are being considered for the inclusion of protections similar to those found in the other whistleblower laws.