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.
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.
Can My Employer Fire Me after I Filed for Workers’ Compensation?
It is illegal to retaliate against an employee for filing a
workers’ compensation claim in Illinois. Our Chicago & Naperville lawyers can also 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 compensation.