Whistleblower/False Claim/Retaliation

A whistleblower who exposes fraud on the government can bring a qui tam lawsuit on behalf of the government, and can receive a share of the recovery as his or her reward. Examples of claims include improper billing, charging the government for services that were not provided, or paying bribes.  For example, in the healthcare industry, false claims are frequently made against Medicare by.  Sometimes these claims are referred to as “false claims” or qui tam cases.  Our Naperville whistleblower lawyers investigate whistleblower claims in the Chicago area.

Illinois law has historically protected employees who report unlawful activity to outside public entities or internally to supervisors. These individuals, better known as “whistleblowers,” are additionally protected by the Whistleblower Act if they report unlawful activity to outside public bodies, such as a government or law enforcement agency. The Whistleblower Act further protects an employee from being retaliated against for refusing to participate in an activity that violates state or federal law.

Retaliation may come in many forms, including: voicing anger or attempting to intimidate an employee, suspending an employee after making a report or voicing concern, demoting an employee or subjecting the employee to negative terms of employment, reducing an employee’s pay, wrongfully terminating an employee after complaining.  Often an issue that will arise in litigation is whether an employer had a “legitimate” reason for the adverse action. Typically, a factual inquiry into an employee’s work performance history, when the employee made his or her complaint, and when the adverse action by the employer began can help determine whether retaliation is occurring.

Often, retaliation comes in the form of wrongful termination. In these situations, an employee is terminated shortly after making a claim either internally or externally.

Illinois has its own version of a whistleblower law.  Under the  Illinois Whistleblower Act, certain types of retaliation is prohibited.  The law provides that:

    "(a) An employer may not retaliate against an employee who discloses information in a court, an administrative hearing, or before a legislative commission or committee, or in any other proceeding, where the employee has reasonable cause to believe that the information discloses a violation of a State or federal law, rule, or regulation.
    (b) An employer may not retaliate against an employee for disclosing information to a government or law enforcement agency, where the employee has reasonable cause to believe that the information discloses a violation of a State or federal law, rule, or regulation."

The Illinois Whistleblower Act allows for damages against an employer who violates the Act.

Feel free to call our Naperville employment attorneys if you have questions about a whistleblower matter.

Naperville Worker Compensation Attorneys For Retaliation

Our lawyers also can assist if you have a workers compensation claim and were retaliated against for your work injury.  Injured workers in Illinois often have legal rights. Depending on the nature of the injury, it may be illegal for an employer to retaliate or terminate an injured worker or someone who files for workers comp. (short for workers compensation).  Our Naperville lawyers are familiar with workers comp attorneys because as employment attorneys, we frequently help navigate the workers compensation system as it relates to retaliation and discrimination claims.  For example, if an employee files a workers compensation claim and is fired for going so, the employee may have a claim for workers compensation retaliation.

In Illinois, the Workers’ Compensation statute is in place specifically to protect employees from work-related injuries. Under the statute, an employee who is injured at the workplace while performing work duties is entitled to medical care for their injury so long as the employee makes a claim.

The statute requires most employers to purchase workers’ compensation insurance to pay for work-related injuries that may occur and, thus, almost every employee in Illinois is covered by workers’ compensation from the moment they begin working. Importantly, the Illinois workers’ compensation statute is a no-fault system, meaning the injured party does not have to prove the employer was negligent or at fault prior to becoming entitled to compensation.

Employees who are uncomfortable about filing a workers’ compensation claim with their employer may take comfort in the fact that workers’ compensation claims benefit both the employer and the employee. That is, when an employee files a workers’ compensation claim, he agrees not to file a lawsuit against their employer for their work injury in return for receiving compensation benefits. In fact, employers are not harmed because it is not the employer who pays the expense, but the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance.

On the other hand, employees benefit because when they file a workers compensation claim, they may be entitled to payment for their medical bills, eliminating most, if not all, out-of-pocket expenses. Furthermore, if an employee is injured to the where they are unable to work following the workplace injury, a workers comp. claim may allow the employee to get  2/3 of their average weekly wages until they are able to return to their position following their workers compensation claim. Finally, because Illinois is a worker-friendly state, employees may also receive payment for the permanency of their injuries depending on the workers compensation claim.

It is important that an injured employee notify the employer of their injury soon after being injured to help preserve a workers comp claim and that they also seek our appropriate advice form a worker comp lawyer who practices work worker injuries.

It is illegal for an employer in Illinois to retaliate against an employee for filing a workers compensation claim.

Our Naperville attorneys are here to help you and can point you in the right direction to find a workers compensation lawyer or to help you if your employer discriminates against you for filing a workers compensation claim.