A Quick Guide to Coronavirus Whistleblowing

The COVID-19 pandemic brought about a lot of change—and ample opportunities for fraud and misconduct. If you know of coronavirus-related misconduct, consider alerting the government. Not only are there protections in place for whistleblowers, but many programs incentivize tips with monetary awards.

Here’s a quick guide to coronavirus whistleblowing.

Which statutes and programs apply?

Depending on the type of violation reported, different statutes may apply. Health and safety violations may be covered under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), but the act’s protections may not be adequate.

Federal employees can report violations under the Whistleblower Protection Program. Some state and local government employees may have state-specific laws, including state laws for healthcare workers.

If the issue involved fraudulent coronavirus spending, there are several options available. Federal and state False Claims Acts protect whistleblowers who alert authorities to fraud in government programs and contracts.

When the misconduct relates to securities fraud and insider trading, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is the appropriate authority. This agency is currently investigating and prosecuting securities fraud issues, “related to the impact of the coronavirus crisis on market integrity.” The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) also has a whistleblower program, allowing people to anonymously make whistleblower claims regarding commodities fraud.

How to blow the whistle on coronavirus-related misconduct

If you have witnessed coronavirus-related misconduct, you can report it to the appropriate agency. It’s important to retain an attorney before you file a whistleblower claim, however. An experienced attorney can help you understand the process, and explain your legal options if you experience retaliation or other issues.

For more information about coronavirus-related whistleblowing protections and awards, a seasoned whistleblower attorney at Kardell Law Group can help. Call today to get started.