There are many different statutes that provide protections to whistleblowers, and in some instances, also provide specific procedures to follow. That is the case with the federal whistleblower in the news these days. That whistleblower works in the Intelligence Community where blowing the whistle may involve classified information. The intelligence community defines whistleblowing as “the act of reporting waste, fraud, abuse and corruption in a lawful manner to those who can correct the wrongdoing.” For more information about the Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act, download the Congressional Research Service report on “Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protections.”
Looking for legal information and resources? If so, click to check out Halunen Law’s Whistleblowers blog for articles related to whistleblowing and qui tam.
On this National Whistleblower Day, Halunen Law recognizes the tremendous contribution that whistleblowers make to our everyday lives— protecting our health, safety, and taxes. These contributions have been happening since the earliest days of the United States. The Founding Father’s unanimously supported whistleblowers in both words and deeds, including providing government records and monetary assistance to prevent retaliation against whistleblowers.  It is a privilege for us to carry on with that support and work with whistleblowers as they make companies accountable for their wrongdoing. Every whistleblower we honor today makes a difference. Thank you.
A few years back, a news article reported that a meeting of corporate defense attorneys had called out whistleblowers as primarily “disgruntled employees.” This remark reflects a too-common perspective that whistleblowers are a nuisance rather than a contributor to the well-being of our businesses and our government. Far from being a nuisance, whistleblowers are champions of ethical conduct and play a powerful role in prodding businesses to do what is right. Are whistleblowers often disgruntled employees? Of course. Read more
Becoming a whistleblower is a process that is not invited or welcome.
It confronts individuals with a reality they cannot ignore
and calls them to take a stand in a place they would not choose.
But for their sense of integrity,
whistleblowers would prefer to remain among those who are silent.
Beginning in 2005, Allegiance entered into agreements with hospitals located in the Southeastern United States to provide Intensive Outpatient Psychotherapy services to patients who were Medicare beneficiaries on the hospitals’ behalf. The settlement resolves allegations that many patients were provided services that did not qualify for Medicare reimbursement but were billed as such.
Halunen Law attorneys Ross Stadheim and Blaine Balow filed a lawsuit in United States District Court—District of Minnesota on behalf of Karen Abbott, a special education teacher in Independent School District 518. The suit claims the district unlawfully retaliated against Ms. Abbott —including harassment and a formal reprimand—because she reported special education violations. Ms. Abbott’s complaints also prompted an investigation by the Minnesota Department of Education.
Contrary to popular rhetoric, there is no Constitutional impediment to outlawing assault weapons. Federal law has banned them before, as evidenced by the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban, which—unfortunately—was allowed to expire in 2004. Importantly, the Supreme Court has clearly stated that the Second Amendment does not protect assault weapons. District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570, 624-25, 627-28 (2008). Circuit Courts have applied Heller to uphold state and local laws banning the possession of assault weapons and/or large ammunition clips. E.g., Kolbe v. Hogan, 849 F.3d 114 (4th Cir. 2017).
You know when something’s not right at work. Numbers don’t add up. Documentation doesn’t reflect what you know to be true. Safety procedures aren’t being followed. Fraud and illegal activity is a reality at many workplaces, and it’s often you – the employee – who identifies and has the courage to bring that fraud to light. If your employer or government contractor is engaged is some sort of fraud/illegal activity, you may be wondering what you can do about it, what the risks might be to your livelihood and reputation, and whether or not it’s worth it to “blow the whistle.” While whistleblowers have often been labeled “disgruntled employees” by the companies they’re seeking to expose, they are more likely champions of the truth, and there are statutes that both protect and reward whistleblowers for taking a stand.
In its 2016 Annual Review of Corporate Fraud and Corruption, Financier Worldwide magazine reported that, every year, corporate fraud causes companies to lose about 5% of their annual revenue.1 In dollar terms, this converts to trillions of dollars each year lost through fraud worldwide. As a result of this problem, countries globally are introducing new laws relating to anti-bribery and anti-corruption. Many countries are working cooperatively with other jurisdictions to combat fraud. While the United States has been a leader in this regard, other countries like the UK, Netherlands, Germany, France, Canada and Australia have introduced anti-bribery and anti-corruption compliance regulations and have employed robust enforcement activities.2 Further, the United Nations Convention Against Corruption has placed pressure on member nations to implement and enforce anti-bribery and anti-corruption laws.3
MINNEAPOLIS – (Dec. 15, 2016) The MiMedx Group (NASDAQ: MDXG) persistently inflated its quarterly revenue figures over several years, using a fraudulent practice known as “channel stuffing” to book sales of products that customers never ordered, according to a whistleblower lawsuit filed by Halunen Law against the company and its CEO today in federal district court in Minneapolis. When two top company salespeople objected to being part of what they perceived to be a scheme to defraud shareholders and the investing public, senior-level executives retaliated with threats, intimidation, and ultimately, termination, according to the lawsuit.
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