Federal and State Whistleblower Laws
Rewards and Job Protection for Whistleblowers
The federal government and the State of California reward whistleblowers who bring actions (known as qui tam actions) for certain illegal activities or fraud the whistleblower knows about and has evidence of. The procedures and limitation periods vary depending on the laws the offending company or individuals have broken. The California and San Francisco whistleblower attorneys at Evans Law Firm, Inc. represent whistleblowers in all manner of cases against government contractors, corporations and service providers who defraud the federal government or State of California. If you have credible information for a false claims or other whistleblower case in California, call us today at (415)441-8669 and we can help.
Federal Whistleblower Laws
Some of the most common federal whistleblower laws and programs (and the employees and other insiders protected from employer retaliation for blowing the whistle) are:
- Consumer Financial Protection Act: Employees and other insiders with information of fraudulent consumer practices. 12 U.S.C. § 5667
- Commodity Futures Trading Commission Whistleblower Program: Employees and other insiders with information regarding commodity, futures and options trading violations. 7 U.S.C. § 26.
- SEC Whistleblower Program: Employees and other insiders with information of securities fraud and securities law violations. 15 U.S.C. § 78u; Comm. Rule 21F-17(a).
- IRS Whistleblower Program: Employees and other insiders with original information of tax avoidance schemes including offshore tax avoidance. The Taxpayer Fairness Act of 2019 extended protection against retaliation to individuals bringing IRS whistleblower actions. I.R.C. Section 7623
- Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering Laws; Employees and other insiders with information regarding violations of bank reporting requirements, use of offshore accounts, wire fraud, and other money-laundering schemes. 31 U.S.C. §§ 5311 et seq.
- Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act (FIRREA): Employees and other insiders who report schemes to fraud by or against financial institutions. 18 U.S.C. §§ 1001 et seq.
- Financial Institutions Anti-Fraud Enforcement Act of 1990 (FIAFEA): FIAFEA causes of action are often combined with FIRREA claims for wire fraud and other forms of bank fraud. Employees and other insiders are protected from employer retaliation. 12 U.S.C. §§ 4201 et seq.
- False Claims Act (FCA): Employees of government contractors and service and product providers. The most common form of federal whistleblower cases, FCA suits involve any kind of fraud against the federal government including by failing to perform certain actions required by federal law (known as reverse false claims). 31 U.S.C. § 3729.
- Sarbanes-Oxley Act: Employees of publicly traded companies with information of fraud and other misconduct in connection with financial reporting laws. 18 U.S.C. §§ 1513 et seq.
- Dodd-Frank Act: Employees in the financial services sector with information of violations of U.S. securities and banking laws and regulations. 15 U.S.C. § 78u.
- Whistleblower Protection Act: Employees of the federal government with information of an activity constituting a violation of law, rules, regulations, or mismanagement within the federal government. 5 U.S.C. § 2302.
- Occupational Safety and Health Act: Employees and other insiders who report violations of the workplace health and safety provisions of OSHA. 29 U.S.C. §Federal Whistleblower Laws
- Fair Labor Standards Act: Employees who report violations of the minimum wage provisions of the FLSA. 29 U.S.C. § 255.
- Family and Medical Leave Act: Employees who report violations of the FMLA. 29 U.S.C. § 2601 et seq.
- Clean Air Act: Employees who report illegal air pollution under the Clean Air Act. 42 U.S.C. § 7622.
- Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act: Employees who report violations of the provisions of the MSPA, which generally concern wages, housing, and transportation of migrant and seasonal agricultural workers. 29 U.S.C. §§ 1855 et seq.
- Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act: Employees who report violations of the environmental provisions of the SMCRA, which protect the environment from the adverse effects of coal mining. 30 U.S.C. § 1293.
- Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA): Employees and other insiders with original information regarding violations of federal drinking water safety laws and regulations. 42 U.S.C. § 300j
- Solid Waste Disposal Act (SWDA): Employees and other insiders with original information regarding violations of solid waste disposal laws and regulations promulgated thereunder. 42 U.S.C. § 6971
- Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA): Employees and other insiders with original information regarding violations of laws pertaining to the use and distribution of industrial chemicals and substances. 15 U.S.C. 2622.
- Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act: Employees and other insiders who have credible information of motor vehicle and carrier safety violations. 49 U.S.C. § 31105(a).
- Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA): Employees and other insiders with original information of violation of law and regulations regarding Duper Fund sites. 42 U.S.C. § 9610.
- Department of Defense Authorization Act of 1987: Employees and other insiders with information of Defense Department appropriations violations; these causes of action may be combined with FCA claims. 10 U.S.C. § 2409(a).
- FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FDA Modernization Act): Employees and other insiders with information regarding FDA food and drug safety violations. 21 U.S.C. § 1012(a).
California Whistleblower Laws
Californians are also protected by state-level whistleblower laws. Some of the most common California whistleblower laws include:
- California False Claims Act: Protects employees, consumers and other insiders with original information of fraud against the State of California including avoidance of legal requirements to transmit property to the State. Cal. Gov’t Code §§ 12650 et seq.
- Labor Code § 1102.5: Generally prohibits retaliation against any employee who discloses a violation of state or federal law to a federal or state government or law enforcement agency
- Labor Code § 6310: Prohibits retaliation against an employee who reports occupational safety and health violations
- Labor Code § 98.6: Prohibits retaliation against any employee who reports violations of the state’s wage and hour standards and other wrongful conduct
- California Whistleblower Protection Act, Cal. Gov’t Code §:8547-8547.12: Prohibits retaliation against employees of the state government for reporting waste, fraud, abuses of authority, violations of law, or threats to public health
If your situation does not fit neatly into any of the above types of whistleblower actions, you may still be protected. Contact a California whistleblower attorney for information concerning more complex or less common whistleblower claims.
Each of the federal and State whistleblower laws has different reporting requirements and different limitations periods regarding brining suit. There are also different procedural requirements for each kind of federal or State whistleblower suit. Our attorneys are familiar with the laws governing the various types of whistleblower actions. If you or a loved one has information regarding any kind of whistleblower case, including State or federal false claims, offshore tax avoidance schemes against the IRS, offshore banking violations, or securities fraud in violation of SEC and CFTC regulations, contact Ingrid M. Evans and the other California whistleblower and false claims attorneys at Evans Law Firm at (415) 441-8669, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our attorneys have experience with complex financial contracts and large insurance companies. We can help guide your case through a jury trial or toward an equitable settlement. We also handle cases involving physical and financial elder abuse, nursing home abuse, whole life insurance and universal life insurance, and indexed, variable, and fixed annuities.
 For an in depth review of the types of whistleblower cases we handle click on Whistleblower Laws under the Practice Areas tab on our home page