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Protecting Whistleblowers

The trial attorneys at Obgorn Mihm LLP represent individuals and groups whose employment has been adversely affected by discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and termination. We represent senior executives in negotiating employment contracts and termination agreements. We understand the special perils and trauma facing “whistleblowers’ who disclose their employer’s wrong-doing. We have experience litigating employment and civil rights cases in both state and federal court, including at the appellate level..

We place particular emphasis on the following areas of employment litigation:

  • Whistleblower Protection
  • Qui Tam Litigation
  • Wrongful Termination
  • Discrimination and Harassment
  • Employment Contract Litigation and Negotiation for senior management.

Whistleblower Protection

The trial attorneys at Ogborn Mihm LLP pride themselves on their commitment to the protection and representation of whistleblowers in Colorado, across the United States, and internationally. Those with the courage to confront their employers, whether through internal or external channels, about wrongful and illegal conduct within the corporate structure are afforded protection under federal and state law.
Statutes such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX), the False Claims Act (FCA), and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act provide strong anti-retaliation protections for whistleblowers who expose wrongful or illegal conduct in corporate America.
Attorney Clayton E. Wire has co-authored an article regarding whistleblower protection, and maintains a “blawg” dedicated to the issues facing whistleblowers .

Qui Tam Litigation / False Claim Acts

In addition to protection from retaliation, whistleblowers and others may seek awards through various state and federal Qui Tam bounty provisions. These provisions allow employees and other interested parties to provide the government with information regarding the wrongful and illegal acts of corporate entities and individuals, and then receive a portion of the amounts that the government eventually recovers from the offender. Most Qui Tam and bounty claims fall within one of the major federal statutes providing such incentives, such as the False Claims Act (FCA), and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

These and other statutes provide lucrative and fulfilling means by which whistleblowers can expose fraudulent and illegal conduct. However, these statutes are often extremely complicated and require strict adherence to multiple regulations. Individuals interested in filing a Qui Tam action or submitting information to the government should consult with counsel before doing so in order to ensure entitlement to compensation and to properly protect themselves. The attorneys at Ogborn Mihm LLP provide such representation and counsel.

Wrongful Termination

Although Colorado is an “at will” employment state, certain state and federal laws protect employees from wrongful termination. An exception to the general “at will” employment doctrine protects employees who were wrongfully terminated in violation of public policy.

Generally speaking, “at will” employment means an employer may terminate an employee for any reason, or no reason, but not the wrong reason. The wrongful termination in violation of public policy exception prohibits employers for terminating employees for refusing to break the law. Under the wrongful termination in violation of public policy exception, employees may be entitled to compensation as a result of being terminated for refusing their employer’s request that they violate some public policy. In most circumstances the public policy is represented in a state or federal statute.

The attorneys at Ogborn Mihm LLP have experience in litigating and successfully resolving claims for wrongful termination.

Discrimination And Harassment

Federal and state laws protect employees from discrimination and harassment at the workplace. Employees who have been discriminated against because of their age, gender, sexual orientation, disability, race, ethnicity, color, or genetic information, may seek compensation for the economic losses and emotional harm caused by their employer’s discriminatory actions. Employees who have suffered harassment on the same bases may be entitled to compensation, even if they quit their job.

Employees who complain about discrimination and harassment to their employer and are retaliated against for raising these issues are also protected under state and federal law.

The attorneys at Ogborn Mihm LLP have experience in a wide range of harassment and discrimination cases, including those involving retaliation, and have been successful in achieving results that benefit our clients.

Employment Contracts

Senior management and other employees may be offered contracts at various stages of their employment. Once hired, an employee may be offered an employment contract. When the employee is terminated or quits she may be offered a severance or release agreement. All of these contracts have specific future ramifications and terms that will affect the employee’s rights going forward. Such contracts should be negotiated and properly drafted to avoid future problems.

Employers often break employment contracts, even if properly drafted. Employers often terminate employees who have employment contract. In such cases the employee is usually due compensation for the remaining term of the contract.

The attorneys at Ogborn Mihm LLP represent employees in all phases of employment contract matters, from negotiation to litigation.

Videos

History and Purpose of the False Claims Act


History and Purpose of the False Claims Act
History and Purpose of the False Claims Act
False Claims Act Qui Tam Procedures
False Claims Act Qui Tam Procedures
Whistleblowers as Patriots
Whistleblowers as Patriots
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