If you are looking for the average whistleblower settlement then this article will address that for you.
A whistleblower is a term that refers to an employee who reveals and reports his/her employer’s illegal actions. They expose fraud, corruption, threats to public interest and safety, threats to national security, law violations and company policy violations.
When alleged wrongdoing is discovered by a whistleblower, he/she might:
- Internally report the incident to other people within the organization,
- Externally report the incident to law enforcement authorities or
- Externally report to the media, publicizing the information to all
Consequences of Whistleblowing
Unfortunately, there tend to be negative repercussions for whistleblowing. Unfavorable employer actions like…
- Denied promotion
- Threatening and
- Wrongful termination
…are just a few of the impacts some whistleblowers endure.
Legal Protections For Whistleblowers
Fortunately, numerous state and federal laws exist to protect whistleblowers. The United States False Claims Act of 1863, the oldest US whistleblowing laws still in use today, encourages whistleblowing of fraud against the government by promising a percentage of the money recovered.
With retaliation due to whistleblowing claims, the following damages may be awarded:
- back pay reinstatement or front pay
- pain and suffering
- attorney’s and court costs
- out-of-pocket costs
- Back pay
- punitive damages
Some informant claims, where the wrongdoing by a private company was especially large, are worth millions of dollars to the employee who “blew the whistle.” SEC whistleblowers are entitled 10% – 30% of the money recovered from the success of facilitated by their actions.
Whistleblower Cases In Court
In court trial cases are very common in whistleblower cases. The employee who alerted the authorities and the media to the company’s wrongdoing must usually immediately deal with retaliation against him/her by being terminated, and a lengthy period of litigation commences.
Also, whistleblower retaliation settlement amounts hardly ever reach the public eye, so here are a few example cases of the average whistleblower case awards:
Charlie Littleton, a former jail administrator, received $187,000 from Bastrop Country, Texas for “blowing the whistle” on several county employees who were using inmates to build barbecue pits to be sold for profit and were also improperly using county funds and equipment.
Sarah Missy McCray was paid $500,000 by the state Transportation Cabinet in Kentucky and was reinstated to a new state job after she exposed a merit system scandal during a former governor Ernie Fletcher’s administration, testified against the organization before a grand jury and was wrongfully terminated.
Dr James Tiesinga was given roughly $300,000, after blowing the whistle on his former employer, Dianon Systems Inc for defrauding the government and billing Medicare for unnecessary sample testing. Dr Tiesinga was entitled to a portion of the money recovered by the government due to his actions. This was done under the False Claims Act. The company, Dianon Systems Inc, eventually settled the case for $1.5 million to resolve all the allegations, and the whistleblower’s share is believed to be approximately $300,000.
If you gain knowledge of any wrongdoing at your place of employment, think carefully about how to proceed. Whistleblowers have been known to go bankrupt in the years following their actions, even though they were in the right. It is best to consider the case with a good lawyer, know your legal rights and all legal issues about the alleged action and seriously consider the repercussions of your actions.