What is a whistleblower? A whistle blower is an employee or former employee who goes to the government privately to report illegal activity on behalf of a company, person, agency, or governmental body. Whistleblowers come in all shapes and sizes but their primary definition is that they are reporting illegal activity and have the evidence to support it.
When does a whistleblowing claim start?
Whistleblowing claims start the moment an employee says “no,” and reports the illegal activity to the company internally or to the government privately, sometimes called a qui tam claim or a claim under the Federal False Claims Act.
What are some whistleblower provisions in Ohio?
The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) gives the implementation of whistleblower protection laws to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The said law has seventeen statutes, ranging from those that deal with violations of environmental laws like the Clean Air Act and Solid Waste Disposal Act, to name a few up to nuclear safety laws like Energy Reorganization Act.
Ohio also has laws protecting other types of whistleblowers, including those in the workplace. However, in Ohio, whistleblowers must follow the reporting requirements of the state statute word for word or risk not having a claim in court.
What type of attorney should a whistleblower seek?
Usually, an attorney who has experience in complex employment law will be able to advise you as to whether or not you have a cause of action. Time is of the essence with these claims, as there are reporting requirements in both state and federal law, some of which require that you be the first to report and that you not breach the seal, which means report to the media or publicly to anyone else. To find out how to respond in your situation, you should call Oliver Law Office to schedule a consultation.