Knowles Law Firm, PC practices in the area of whistleblower filings and claims before various United States government agencies, including the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm will assist you in a time of need to seek justice and hold the responsible parties accountable and shine light on the truth. Knowles Law Firm, PC has an international reach, and certain whistleblower laws in the United States have extraterritorial reach, including allowing European Union member nationals to file whistleblower claims in the United States regardless of nationality or location.
PROTECTING YOUR RIGHTS – FIGHTING CORRUPTION AND STANDING UP AGAINST PROFITS OVER PEOPLE
Whistleblower laws have certainly grown in reach throughout the last couple of decades. Thankfully this body of law is continuing to expand to offer protections to those that are willing to expose corruption and fraud. Many are unaware that certain U.S. whistleblower laws allow individuals (no matter where located in the world) with information regarding corruption or fraud to pursue legal remedies inside the United States including remedies for protection and compensation awards for placing their careers and livelihoods at risk for coming forward.
Furthermore, the European Union recently enacted the EU Whistleblower Directive – (EU) 2019/1937 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2019 on the protection of persons who report breaches of Union law – which was adopted on 23 October 2019 and entered into force on 16 December 2019. Member States have until 17 December 2021 to adopt national law in accordance with the Directive.
WHAT ARE AREAS OF MISCONDUCT THAT VIOLATE THE LAW AND AFFORD WHISTLEBLOWERS PROTECTIONS?
- SECURITIES AND COMMODITIES FRAUD
- ENVIRONMENTAL POLLUTION
- OCEAN POLLUTION
- COMPANY MISCONDUCT
For a more detailed list, see below:
ENVIRONMENTAL AND NUCLEAR SAFETY LAWS
Section 11(c) of the Occupational Safety & Health Act (OSHA). [29 U.S.C. §660(c)] Section 11(c) provides protection for employees who exercise a variety of rights guaranteed under the Act, such as filing a safety and health complaint with OSHA, participating in an inspection, etc. 29 CFR 1977
Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA). [15 U.S.C. §2651] Protects employees who report violations of the law relating to asbestos in public or private non-profit elementary and secondary school systems. 29 CFR 1977
Clean Air Act (CAA). [42 U.S.C. §7622] Prohibits retaliation against any employee who reports violations regarding air emissions from area, stationary, and mobile sources. 29 CFR 24
Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA). [42 U.S.C. §9610] a.k.a. “Superfund,” prohibits retaliation against any employee who reports alleged violations relating to cleanup of hazardous waste sites, as well as accidents, spills, and other emergency releases of pollutants and contaminants. 29 CFR 24
Energy Reorganization Act (ERA). [42 U.S.C. §5851] Prohibits retaliation against any employee who reports violations or refuses to engage in violations of the ERA or the Atomic Energy Act. Protected employees include employees of operators, contractors and subcontractors of nuclear power plants licensed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and employees of contractors working with the Department of Energy under a contract pursuant to the Atomic Energy Act. 29 CFR 24
Federal Water Pollution Control Act (FWPCA). [33 U.S.C. §1367] a.k.a. “Clean Water Act,” prohibits retaliation against any employee who reports alleged violations relating to discharge of pollutants into water. 29 CFR 24
Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA.) [42 U. S. C. §300j-9(i)] Prohibits retaliation against any employee who reports alleged violations relating to any waters actually or potentially designated for drinking. 29 CFR 24
Solid Waste Disposal Act (SWDA). [42 U.S.C. §6971] Prohibits retaliation against any employee who reports alleged violations relating to the disposal of solid and hazardous waste (including medical waste) at active and future facilities. This statute is also known as the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. 29 CFR 24
Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). [15 U.S.C. §2622] Prohibits retaliation against any employee who reports alleged violations relating to industrial chemicals produced or imported into the United States, and supplements the Clean Air Act (CAA) and the Toxic Release Inventory under Emergency Planning & Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA). 29 CFR 24
TRANSPORTATION INDUSTRY LAWS
Federal Railroad Safety Act (FRSA). [49 U.S.C §20109] Protects employees of railroad carriers and their contractors and subcontractors who report a hazardous safety or security condition, a violation of any federal law or regulation relating to railroad safety or security, or the abuse of public funds appropriated for railroad safety. In addition, the statute protects employees who refuse to work when confronted by a hazardous safety or security condition. 29 CFR 1982
International Safe Container Act (ISCA) [46 U.S.C. §80507] Protects employees involved in international shipping who report to the Coast Guard the existence of an unsafe intermodal cargo container or another violation of the Act. 29 CFR 1977
Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21). [49 U.S.C. §30171] Prohibits retaliation by motor vehicle manufacturers, part suppliers, and dealerships against employees for providing information to the employer or the U.S. Department of Transportation about motor vehicle defects, noncompliance, or violations of the notification or reporting requirements enforced by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or for engaging in related protected activities as set forth in the provision.
National Transit Systems Security Act (NTSSA). [6 U.S.C. §1142] Protects transit employees who report a hazardous safety or security condition, a violation of any federal law relating to public transportation agency safety, or the abuse of federal grants or other public funds appropriated for public transportation. The Act also protects public transit employees who refuse to work when confronted by a hazardous safety or security condition or refuse to violate a federal law related to public transportation safety. 29 CFR 1982
Pipeline Safety Improvement Act (PSIA). [49 U.S.C. §60129] Protects employees who report violations of federal laws related to pipeline safety and security or who refuse to violate such laws. 29 CFR 1981
Seaman’s Protection Act, 46 U.S.C. §2114 (SPA), as amended by §611 of the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010, Public Law 111-281. Protects employees who report to the Coast Guard or another federal agency a violation of a maritime safety law or regulation. The Act also protects seamen who refuse to work when they reasonably believe an assigned task would result in serious injury or impairment of health to themselves, other seamen, or the public.
Surface Transportation Assistance Act (STAA). [49 U.S.C §31105] Protects truck drivers and other employees who refuse to violate regulations related to the safety of commercial motor vehicles or who report violations of those regulations. 29 CFR 1978
Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century (AIR21). [49 U.S.C. §42121] Protects employees of air carriers and contractors and subcontractors of air carriers who, among other things, report violations of laws related to aviation safety. 29 CFR 1979
CONSUMER AND INVESTOR PROTECTION LAWS
Affordable Care Act. 29 U.S.C. §218C (ACA) Protects employees who report violations of any provision of title I of the ACA, including but not limited to discrimination based on an individual’s receipt of health insurance subsidies, the denial of coverage based on a preexisting condition, or an insurer’s failure to rebate a portion of an excess premium.
Consumer Financial Protection Act (CFPA). [12 U.S.C. §5567]. Employees are protected for blowing the whistle on reasonably perceived violations of any provision of the Title X of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act or any other provision of law that is subject to the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Consumer Financial, Protection, or any rule, order, standard, or prohibition prescribed by the Bureau.
Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX). [18 U.S.C. §1514A] Protects employees of certain companies who report alleged mail, wire, bank or securities fraud; violations of the SEC rules and regulations; or violation of federal laws related to fraud against shareholders. The Act covers employees of publicly traded companies and their subsidiaries, as well as employees of nationally-recognized statistical rating organizations. 29 CFR 1980
Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA). [15 U.S.C. §2087] Protects employees who report to their employer, the federal government, or a state attorney general reasonably perceived violations of any statute or regulation within the jurisdiction of the Consumer Safety Product Safety Commission (CPSC). CPSIA covers employees of consumer product manufacturers, importers, distributors, retailers, and private labelers. 29 CFR 1983
FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) [21 U.S.C. 399d]. Protects employees of food manufacturers, distributors, packers, and transporters from reporting a violation of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, or a regulation promulgated under the Act. Employees are also protected from retaliation for refusing to participate in a practice that violates the Act.
HOW CAN I PROVE VIOLATIONS OF THE LAW?
Under U.S. law, whistleblowers can prove violations of the law by the following:
- providing authorities with their testimony
- keeping and maintaining records related to the misconduct (specifically and only for purposes of supporting your claim for whistleblowing)
WHAT ARE MY POSSIBLE REMEDIES AND COMPENSATION/REWARDS?
Individuals, who bring forth original information related to fraud, corruption, or corporate misconduct, may be eligible to receive compensation between 10-30 percent of any fines or penalties levied by the U.S. authorities against the at-fault organization. Over the last decade, individuals from over 80 countries have been awarded 10’s of millions of dollars in compensation/rewards for their contributing information.
If you have information concerning corruption or fraud, you as a European Union member national may be able to file a claim under U.S. law and seek statutory compensation if your claim is successful.
Knowles Law Firm, PC will advocate for your rights.