Orange County Whistleblower and Qui Tam Attorneys
Our firm includes some of the most experienced Orange County attorneys specializing in whistleblower, or Qui Tam, litigation. In addition, as Orange County’s top whistleblower attorneys, we ensure that those who report illegal conduct are protected and secure in their field. We understand that whistleblowing may be seen as harmful to one’s career. However, whistleblowers must remember that settlements are confidential. Also, society, co-workers and/or future employers cannot fault someone for “doing the right thing” and bravely notifying the government when companies financially defraud the system (and steal taxpayer money). Accordingly, the attorneys at Stephen Danz and Associates use the following ways of protecting whistleblowers that come forward to expose corporate wrongdoing and fraud.
California Labor Code Anti-Retaliation Protections and Whistleblower Protection Act (Gov. Code Section 8547 et seq.)
California has many laws that protect whistleblowers. In general, Labor Code Section 1102.5 prohibits retaliation against employees who “blow the whistle” by notifying a government agency on, or refuse to participate in, an activity that violates laws or regulations in the workplace. Labor Code Section 98.6 prohibits retaliation against employees who file a complaint about labor code violations with the Labor Commissioner or the Department of Fair Employment and Housing, and Labor Code 6399.7 prohibits retaliation against employees for filing a complaint or testifying on occupational safety and health issues.
In regard to reporting illegitimate billing, Government Code Section 12653 prohibits retaliation against employees who report to a government entity any fraudulent billing that was improperly submitted for payment. Moreover, Government Code Section 12940(h) prohibits retaliation against employees who oppose discrimination or harassment based on race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition, marital status, sex, age, or sexual orientation.
Special Whistleblower Retaliation Protections Afforded to Health Care Workers and Patients
California also has statutes that protect health care workers and patients by prohibiting health care facilities from retaliating or discriminating against them for complaints about premises’ safety conditions or quality of care. (Health and Safety Code 1278.5.) The purpose of the statute is to protect those charged with ensuring the health and safety of the patients as well as protecting the actual patients. The statute provides a rebuttable presumption of retaliation if, within 180 days of the filing of a grievance or complaint by a patient, the facility discriminates against a patient. Similarly, a rebuttable presumption of retaliation exists if, within 120 days of the filing of a grievance or complaint by a health care worker, the facility discriminates against the worker.
If you complained either verbally or in writing to the employer, and thereafter were mistreated or discriminated against by the employer, contact our office for a free no-obligation consultation. Our attorneys focus on representing Orange County’s diverse population at such large medical facilities as Kaiser, Hoag Hospital, Memorial Care Health System, UC Irvine Medical Center, St. Joseph’s Hospital, Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center, Fountain Valley Regional Hospital and Medical Center, and Children’s Hospital of Orange County.
A violation of this section subjects the facility to a civil penalty of $25,000 in addition to a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $20,000. The employee who has been discriminated against in employment under this section is entitled to reinstatement, reimbursement for lost wages and benefits caused by the acts of the employer, and legal costs, or to any remedy deemed justified by the court.
A health care worker who has been discriminated against under this section is entitled to reimbursement for lost income and legal costs, or to any other remedy warranted by the court. Finally, the Health and Safety Code 1432 extends retaliation protection to workers and patients at long-term health care facilities such as nursing facilities.
Federal Protections Against Whistleblower Retaliation in California
Our attorneys utilize both federal laws and California state laws to protect our clients against retaliation. In fact, whistleblowers are protected against retaliation under the Deficit Reduction Act, False Claims Act (“FCA”), Fraud and Enforcement Recovery Act (“FERA”), and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“ACA”). For instance, the FCA protects whistleblowers from retaliation by the employer in terms and conditions of employment as a result of an employee, contractor or agent’s lawful act aimed to stop an FCA violation. Relief may include reinstatement, two times back pay, interest, special damages, litigation costs, and reasonable attorneys’ fees. (31 U.S.C. 3730(h).)
In addition, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits employers from discriminating against their employees based on personal characteristics, including race, color, religion, sex, and national origin (referred to by the Court as “status discrimination”). It also prohibits employers from retaliating against employees based on their opposition to employment discrimination or complaint of discrimination. (42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2, 3(a).) Other types of anti-retaliation statutes are included in the Fair Employment and Housing Act (Gov. Code 12940 et seq.) and the Fair Labor Standards Act. (29 U.S.C. 201 et seq.)
Recent Examples of Orange County Attorneys Whistleblower Qui Tam Litigation
Hernandez vs. McDonnell Douglas. Central District of California) Aerospace assembly line federal false claim. Confidential administrative settlement. (LA area for page content)
Confidential vs. (Unnamed Governmental Entity). Federal False Claim against a public agency currently being investigated alongside the Department of Justice. Allegations include post 9/11 FEMA grant fraud. Anticipated recovery for the whistleblower in excess of 1M. LA
To review your case, speak to our Orange County whistleblower and qui tam attorneys today for a free consultation. Call us at 877-789-9707.
92614, 92802, 92803
“Mr. Danz and Ms. Porter, Thank you very much for your legal assistance a few weeks back. The problems I was encountering at work were having an extremely adverse effect on every aspect of my daily life. Relationships with my fiancé, friends, and family were growing increasingly tense, and my overall daily outlook was grim as a consequence of not being able to see any viable options to remedy the situation. Your willingness to write, speak over the phone, and meet with me was extremely generous. Furthermore, the way in which you treated my family and I was overwhelming. In a calm, compassionate, and sincere fashion, you were able to explain to us very clearly several meaningful options in which to resolve the conflict I had with my employer. On the drive home from meeting with both of you, I felt for the first time in a long time, a sense of relief and renewed the ability to enjoy the moment.”
Orange County Whistleblower Attorney