The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration settled a lawsuit against Dearborn Heights School District No. 7. The janitor whistleblower not only won his case, but also got his job back after the school district fired him for exposing violations to the Clean Air Act.
About the Whistleblower Statute
In 1863 to combat fraud in Union contracts during the Civil War, Congress passed the Whistleblower or Qui Tam statute. It was not until 1986 before Congress modernized the Whistleblower statute and renamed it to the False Claims Act (FCA). It became the government’s primary tool to combat fraud. Individuals who report government-program fraud bring the lawsuit on behalf of the government.
The Law Protects and Rewards a Whistleblower
When a knowledgeable attorney like those found at The Michael Brady Lynch Firm files a False Claims Act lawsuit, he or she files it under a seal. This means it is completely confidential. There is also a full disclosure statement in the suit, which details the evidence collected by a whistleblower.
After we file your suit, the Department of Justice will review the evidence before deciding to step in and decide if they want to prosecute the case. The government’s fraud investigator will work closely with you, the whistleblower to identify all responsible for the fraud.
You could be entitled to 15-30% of the funds recovered. In order to receive the reward, you must be the first one to file a case under the False Claims Act. This is why it is key to pick an experienced attorney to work quickly to get your compensation.
The janitor whistleblower in 2012 told the school district that the high school and elementary school had asbestos. The employee also reported potential pesticide exposure at the school to the Michigan Environmental Protection Agency. When the district learned of these complaints and violations, the school district went through lengthy efforts to identify the whistleblower. Then, fired him.
Federal investigators determined the district violated the Clean Air Act. The terminated employee served as a key witness for federal investigators in a 2012 whistleblower complaint from an employee who alleged employee and student exposure to asbestos at the public school.
OSHA ordered the district to rehire the janitor whistleblower and pay him $102,905 in back wages, damages and other compensation. OSHA determined that the employee, who worked as a janitor, was unjustly disciplined, publicly discredited and terminated improperly.