Whistleblower Earns $1.9 Million Award in Claim Against CHS
A former executive at a Community Health Systems, Inc. (CHS)-owned multispecialty clinic based in Washington state recently won a $1.9 million award after filing a whistleblower lawsuit against CHS and the clinic at which he worked.
According to a report from the Spokesman-Review, former CFO Gregg Becker filed the suit 2012, claiming at the time that he had been pressured to change the company’s financial projections from a $12.8 million loss to a $4 million loss. When he refused to do this, the company allegedly fired him.
The case went in front of an administrative judge with the U.S. Department of Labor in November. The judge ruled in the claimant’s favor, awarding him $1.9 million — including more $341,000 in back pay, approximately $1.5 million in front pay and an additional $15,000 for damage to reputation and attorneys’ fees.
CHS appealed this most recent decision to the administrative review board, so that case is still pending. The company released a statement that read in part: “We believe the original decision of the agency dismissing Becker’s claim was correctly decided.”
Filing a whistleblower claim
Under federal law, whistleblowers can receive certain protections against retaliation if they alert authorities to a company’s wrongdoing. In this particular case, Becker appeared to be a victim of retaliation even before acting as a whistleblower. Because he promptly alerted the proper authorities, he was able to recover a significant award.
Individuals who are aware of major violations occurring within their organizations should understand the rewards whistleblowers could receive from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and other regulatory bodies. For further guidance on this important issues, consult a skilled Dallas attorney at Whistleblower Law for Managers.