Chicago Whistleblower Attorney
Illinois employees have several laws to protect them if they are whistleblowers. In fact, Illinois’ own Honest Abe (Abraham Lincoln) passed a whistleblower type law because of dishonest Civil War suppliers who put sawdust in the gunpowder and then sold it to the Union Army. In Illinois, whistleblowers are protected by both federal and state, and local laws. So, while no one likes to be a whistleblower, Illinois is a good place to be one.
What Is a Whistleblower in Illinois?
If you blow the whistle (i.e., exposed employer’s wrongdoing or have knowledge of your company cheating the government or insurance companies), you may be entitled to money as a whistleblower. Examples of claims include improper billing, charging the government for services that were not provided, or misrepresenting things to the government to get money.
You can also review our comprehensive rundown of whistleblower laws that may be relevant to you.
The Whistleblower Protection Act (5 U.S.C. § 2302(b)(8))
The Whistleblower Protection Act (WPA) protects whistleblowers from retaliation at work for making disclosures. There are also penalties for supervisors that retaliate against employees who are whistleblowing.
False Claims "Qui Tam" Act
Sometimes referred to as “false claims” lawsuits, or qui tam claims, these claims allow a whistleblower to recover money if his or her employer is getting money unfairly. An example of false claims is Medicare fraud. Sometimes employers will bill Medicare or Medicaid or insurance companies for services that were not performed or that were unnecessary. This is illegal.
Specific types of whistleblowers include:
- IRS Whistleblowers: If you have information that a taxpayer is cheating the government, you might be entitled to a portion of any recovery by the IRS. There are specific ways you must report a tax fraud to the IRS.
- SEC Whistleblowers: The SEC has a whistleblower program for certain financial frauds.
- Medicare Whistleblowers and Healthcare Fraud: Medical practices sometimes get into trouble for up-coding, paying incentives for referrals, and not following CMS rules. Under the False Claims Act, a whistleblower can recover between 15 and 30 percent of the government’s recovery.
- Illinois Whistleblowers: While many whistleblower claims are brought under federal law, Illinois has its own set of laws to protect whistleblowers. It also has a unique law that allows a recovery for insurance fraud.
- Laboratory and COVID-19 Whistleblowers: The Covid-19 Pandemic has resulted in a great deal of fraud. To learn more about whistleblower fraud by laboratories, click here.