As with all legal claims, deadlines are crucial. The deadlines to bring whistleblower claims in Maryland can vary greatly depending on the law that is being applied. All of these laws have strict filing deadlines, some of them quite short.
Which provision of Maryland whistleblower law protects whistleblowers from retaliation?
The Maryland False Health Care Claims Act (MD FCA) includes an anti-retaliation provision that protects whistleblowers from retaliation by an employer. The primary elements of whistleblower retaliation are:
- Employer-Employee or Employer-Contractor Relationship. The plaintiff was an employee or contractor of the employer;
- Adverse Employment Action. The plaintiff was fired or experienced another form of adverse employment action; and
- Protected Conduct. The employee’s protected conduct was a substantial factor in the employer’s decision to take the adverse employment action.
Can a whistleblower receive a reward for disclosing health care fraud?
Yes, similar to the Federal False Claims Act, A whistleblower may be rewarded up to 25% of the proceeds recovered under the MD FCA. Additionally, a whistleblower who suffers unlawful retaliation is entitled to restatement, compensation for twice the amount of lost wages and benefits with interest, litigation costs, reasonable attorney’s fees, and punitive damages.
What protections exist for state employees?
Under the Maryland Whistleblower Law, a supervisor, appointing authority, or the head of a principal unit may not take or refuse to take any personnel action as a reprisal against an employee who:
- discloses information that the employee reasonably believes evidences an abuse of authority, gross mismanagement, or gross waste of money; a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety; or a violation of law; or
- following a disclosure under item (1) seeks a remedy provided under the Whistleblower Law or any other law or policy governing the employee’s unit. Employees must file a written complaint within six months and may seek various types of relief to make them whole and restore their career.
What should I do if I am thinking about blowing the whistle or believe I have been retaliated against?
Keep a detailed log of your employer’s actions and statements relating to any kind of retaliation, and contact the employment attorneys at The Employment Law Group® law firm at 888-603-0983 or email@example.com to discuss your potential claim.