Who to contact if you want to be a whistleblower

If you know of wrongdoing or fraud by your employer, one of the challenges you may face is what to do with that information.

Becoming a whistleblower is one way to make authorities aware of practices that violate the law, steal taxpayer funds, endanger patients or cheat investors.

If you are considering being a whistleblower, it generally is a good idea to contact an attorney who has in-depth experience in handling whistleblower cases before taking any action. Top whistleblower attorneys would be able to assess your situation and advise you on the best and safest course for you to take given your individual circumstances.

Most whistleblower attorneys work on a contingency basis, meaning their whistleblower clients only pay them if a case is successful and they receive a reward. Initial consultations should be free, and any lawyer who's considering taking your case should offer to pay your travel costs to meet with him or her.

Two of the major laws that offer whistleblowers in certain types of cases protection against job retaliation and rewards are:

•· The False Claims Act - covers any fraud that causes the government to lose money or pay funds based on false claims, such as Medicare and Medicaid fraud and defense contractor fraud.

•· The Dodd-Frank Act -- created the whistleblower programs at the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to encourage whistleblowers with knowledge of securities and commodity laws violations to come forward.

The False Claims Act requires that attorneys file a whistleblower's "qui tam" case. Under the Dodd-Frank Act, an attorney must file a whistleblower's claim if that whistleblower wants to be anonymous.

For tips about being a whistleblower, see:

•· Pitfalls to avoid when filing a qui tam case

•· Tips for choosing a whistleblower lawyer

If you would like to speak with a whistleblower attorney, please contact us. Phillips & Cohen LLP has dedicated its law practice to representing only whistleblowers for nearly 30 years. We are the most successful law firm representing whistleblowers, with more than $11 billion in recoveries from our cases.